25 Ideas For Employee Recognition Gifts

Apr 17, 2024 | Business Tips, Corporate Gifting, Gift Ideas, Human Resources

Gain some inspiration with 25 ideas for staff recognition gifts that will engage your team and retain your workforce through professional gratitude.

Getting your business to run like a well-oiled machine can be a challenge. For one, operations can be constantly disrupted with surprise problems such as inflation, supply chain issues and not to mention changing consumer attitudes. But, if you have a dedicated workforce that is motivated, adaptable and dedicated; staying ahead of these surprises is easy! 

The hard part is keeping your team all of the above. Sure, recognizing your employees’ efforts is important but it takes more than a pat on the back to ensure they remain engaged and you retain their services. Here, staff recognition gifts can work wonders in changing the game. Giving your team gifts, when deserved (or even just because!) is an all important method of increasing employee engagement and retention; and getting your organization moving without any unnecessary accidents or breakdowns. 

Ideas for Staff Recognition Gifts

So, you’re looking for a gift that’s special but not corny, unique but not weird, lavish but not extravagant, repeatable but memorable, trendy but an everyday essential… and the list could go on. Picking a gift is a multi-faceted action. It’s as special as your recipient and has about as many sides to it as the giftee themself. That’s what makes it so difficult. After all, you’re no magician right? When you’re lost for inspiration and need some ideas for employee recognition gifts, take a peek in our bag of tricks!

PS. If you don’t want to choose something specific, you can use our online gift invites to let them choose a gift!

Company Branded SWAG

SWAG has often garnered a bad reputation as gifts that companies give to market themselves, rather than appreciate the recipient. It doesn’t have to be though? Adding a special twist to a SWAG gift, such as choosing trendy products, adding personalized elements and so forth, can take a boring old gift and make it into a unique recognition prize for your employee.

Coffee / A Coffee Subscription

It is often your team that gets your company going, but gets your team going? More often than not – it’s coffee. One of the best ideas when considering employee recognition gifts is a coffee voucher or a coffee subscription voucher to your recipient’s favorite local cafe. Not only will they be able to enjoy their cup of Joe, but they’ll also be impressed that you’ve taken the time to figure out their favorite coffee shop.

A Relaxing Experience

Let’s face it. There are times when your team just needs a break from all their hard work. And being the one to give it to them would probably make you like Yoda in their eyes. A relaxing gift experience, such as a spa day, a massage or a manicure is both different and useful and would make one heck of a memorable experience when it comes to your team’s list of their all time favorite staff recognition gifts. 

A Catered Lunch

A catered lunch is more than just about the food. For your team it can be seen as an office treat and for you it can be viewed as a team building experience. Because what brings people together better than food? Moreover, in a fast-paced corporate environment there’s often very little time to eat, and even less time to bond with colleagues. 

A Book/ An e-book

Books are not only for learning and giving books as staff recognition gifts does not have to be educational. When using this approach to appreciate your team, try to find ways to discover a topic your employee is passionate about or would like to learn more about. This not only shows you’re in tune with their likes but also creates a level of engagement that exceeds traditional gifting. 

A Self-Care Gift Set

Prioritizing your team’s wellness is a thoughtful and direct way to show appreciation. After all, for your employee to be performing at their best, they need to be at their best – or at very least live their best life. A self-care gift is one that combines fun, creativity and wellness all in one neatly wrapped package. 

Self - care staff recognition gifts

Handwritten Notes

Gifting does not have to go out the window if you’re on a strict budget. You can still make an impact and create a memorable experience for your employees with little to no revenue. A handwritten note is special, unique and a personalized experience that shows you prioritize your employees and value their hard work.

Corporate Discounts

A corporate discount is a gift that keeps on giving! Better than a one-time, physical gift, this approach will be appreciated on another level. If you choose to travel this route, be sure to pick a vendor that offers discounts on all kinds of products and experiences to ensure you cater to every person on your team. 

Continued Opportunities to Grow

Opportunities to grow and learn in the workplace are everywhere. Whether in the form of a subscription to an online learning platform or a subsidy to a professional workshop; this approach is a great way to engage with your team. This is especially relevant for millennials and Gen-Z as they become more and more dominant in the workplace and their thirst for knowledge extends.

Lunch With a Twist

In the arena of affordable, yet impactful, staff recognition gifts is a lunch with a senior executive. Offering your employee an opportunity to engage with leadership will allow them to gain insight and knowledge from seasoned professionals; as well as create a connection that can be invaluable.

A Team Photo

You can capture the special moments your team shares with a delightful photo and frame in as an employee gift. This is relatively expensive and exudes a personal touch that far exceeds the boundaries of traditional corporate gifting. It’s also a great way to create meaningful memories and encourage team bonding. 

 Extra Vacation Time

While it may not seem glamorous, extra vacation time is one of those staff recognition gifts that can truly be appreciated. This is a great way to reward your employees with something to do, that is anything other than work.

 Blankets & Throws

A blanket and throw may sound like a mundane gift idea but imagine filling the office with cozy coverings! This will settle the age-old “perfect office temperature” debate among your team members as well as create a working environment synonymous with comfort and fun. A 2015 survey – interviewing 129 office members – found that 42% of employees think their office building is too warm while 56% think it’s too hot. Either way, comfy throws and blankets can create an ambiance that makes everyone happy and warm. 

Blankets and throws for employee recognition gifts

Commuter Benefits

If you intend for your gift to be a practical one, nothing can be more practical than commuter benefits. This will lessen the financial burden of your employee’s commute, freeing up revenue for other circumstances. The benefits can come in the form of parking permits, bus passes and other forms of reimbursement for transportation and this gift is a that exudes thoughtfulness and meaning.

An Office Espresso Machine

An office espresso machine is a one-size-fits-all solution in the area of staff recognition gifts. Plus, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Every time your team enjoys a latte or freshly poured brew, they’ll think of the sentiment of the gift. Moreover, you can customize the coffee pods or brews based on your team’s likes and preferences.

A Charitable Donation

You can show some love with a gift donated to charity in the name of your recipient. A charitable donation is more than a gift, it’s an act of kindness that will resonate with your employees especially if it’s to your recipient’s favorite or most heartfelt organization. This is a growing trend among millennials as they’ve caught onto the fact that a sincere contribution to a charitable organization is a supportive way to show vested interest in the community and people.

Office Supplies

Why not gift your employees with workspace supplies they can use to do their job better? Or even with office supplies for their home offices. If you know your team is in need of a particular item, or something that can make their life easier, it would be great to use it to show appreciation and gratitude. 

A Special Office Day

One amazing way to reach your team on a personal level is by making what’s important to them, important to you. This can be their kids, their pets or just anything else that brings joy to their hearts. Hosting a special day at the office – fully equipped with meals and fun – for their pets or children is an ideal touchpoint to engrave the day and its significance in the minds of your employees. While this approach garners incredible emotional value, also be mindful of the allergies or reactions of other team members to  animals. It is not wise to alienate anyone or create tension among a team. 

DIY Art Gifts

Creative inspiration and artistic flow is another great gift idea. Most especially if your recipient has the creative flair that calls for it. DIY art gifts can invoke the artistic nature of your team and help them create masterpieces that serve as reminders of your professional gratitude. It’s a win-win!

DIY Art Gifts

Luxury Travel Equipment

If your employee is an avid traveler, you can give them luxury travel equipment. One such great brand is Tumi with a range of durable, chic and versatile bags and luggage sets that create an impression of quality and finesse. 

Local Specialities & Surprises

It is a fun gift idea to give your employees local specialities as a treat. It is especially fun when they’re in different offices in different cities or countries. You can diversify your efforts and send the local specialities to different locations. For example, if you have an office in India and one in China; you can send Indian food to your team in China and vice versa. That makes for a fun way to enjoy tasty treats and learn more about the culture of fellow team mates.

A Good Ol’ Snack Basket

Snacks can never get boring and a snack basket will probably never lose its appeal. This is also an easily customizable option because you can curate items based on the lifestyle and preferences of your team. For the junk food enthusiasts; a sweet or chocolatey array of treats are sure to delight. Alternatively, you can add in healthy treats for more fitness-prone recipients.

An e-Gift Card

If you’d rather give your employee the freedom to pick their own gift, an egift card is the way to go. It’s a stress-free, sustainable and convenient form of gifting and there’s little to no chance your employee will be disappointed. 

A Desk Plant

There are numerous benefits to having plants in the office according to research. From a boost in productivity to reduced stress levels, these gifts are sure to keep on giving even after they’ve been delivered. 

Friday Cocktail Hour

You can bring fun and excitement in the workplace with a Friday cocktail hour. Create a party mood with delicious cocktails for your team, with your employees favorites. Or better yet, do a DIY cocktail hour and give your team the opportunity to be their own bartenders and create a level of engagement that makes for great team building. 

DIY Cocktail Staff Recognition Gifts

Recognize & Appreciate Employees Today, & Everyday

Whether you’re sending local specialities globally or you need help putting together a perfectly customized snack basket, you can use Giftsenda to show appreciation and keep the momentum going with staff recognition. 

From address-free gift links and personalized gift email invites, you can seamlessly share the information of your gift campaign with your employees and track your progress on the dashboard of the gifting platform with real-time data. You can also integrate your HRM with the Giftsenda platform so you can have all the employee details you need without having to go back and forth between the applications. Happy? Create a subscription-free campaign!  

Do Corporate Gifting Your Way

Gifting Platform

Do you send gifts to staff, prospects and clients on a regular basis? Our gifting platform is designed to make corporate gifting fast, cost-effective and easy – no matter the size of your recipient list. 

One-Time Projects

Enjoy all the perks of using a gifting platform, with no commitments or recurring costs, when making use of our project-based plan. Use the platform yourself, or we can manage your whole campaign for you.

eCommerce Shop

Do you need to quickly send 1-5 gifts to recipients overseas? Our online shop is free to use. Simply choose the gifts, provide the delivery details, and pay. You can even send a 1:1 gift using en email address!
Share This