15 Best Gifts for Employee Appreciation

CoffeePals Team
CoffeePals Team
April 12, 2024
15 Best Gifts for Employee Appreciation

In the hustle and bustle of work life, it's easy to forget to stop and say, "Hey, thanks for being awesome!" But showing appreciation isn't just a feel-good gesture; it's like putting rocket fuel in your team's morale tank.

We know that finding the perfect way to say "thank you" can be a bit daunting. That’s why we’ve put together this list of amazing gifts you can give your team members to show appreciation. So whether you're celebrating a big win, saying thanks for going above and beyond, or just wanting to sprinkle extra joy into your workplace, we've got your back.


83.6% of employees admit that recognition motivates them to succeed. When employees feel valued, they're more engaged, happier, and ready to conquer the world.

1. Desk accessories and office supplies

When it comes to gifts, going for the practical choice is always wise. Desk accessories and office supplies are things people use daily and can help enhance productivity and organization. 

Think ergonomic accessories like mouse pads, wrist rests, adjustable monitor stands, and high-quality notebooks or journals in awesome designs. Noise-canceling headphones, wireless chargers, and USB hubs are also handy.

2. Company-branded swag

If you’re going for practical gifts, might as well stamp the company’s name on it. Company-branded swag fosters a sense of belonging and pride in the company as employees become walking ambassadors for the brand.

Have swag.com customize some products with your company logo. Think branded apparel like hoodies, shirts, or jackets. You could also go for tote bags, backpacks, coffee mugs, or umbrellas. 

3. A desk plant

Gifting a plant for an employee's desk helps bring a touch of nature indoors, creating a more relaxing and inviting work environment. Indoor plants can improve air quality and reduce stress, creating a healthier and more productive workspace.

Succulents and cacti are popular desk plants due to their low maintenance requirements and unique, sculptural shapes. Other options are air plants, bamboo plants, pothos, and peace lilies.

employee appreciation gift desk plant

4. A donation to their favorite charity

Donating to an employee's favorite charity is a meaningful and thoughtful gift because it demonstrates that you value their personal interests and passions outside of work. It also allows employees to make a positive impact on causes that are important to them, empowering them to contribute to positive change in their communities or the world at large.

Ask them about local community organizations, environmental conservation groups, education and literacy programs, humanitarian aid organizations, and other causes they advocate for.

5. A soothing massage

Your employees deserve some rest and relaxation no matter their role in the workplace. A soothing massage can help alleviate stress and tension, promoting relaxation and improving overall well-being.

You can give them a gift card to use at a nearby spa or book the service and pay for it in advance so that they won’t have to worry about anything else. You can even include a care package containing scented candles, essential oils, and other tools for relaxation.

6. Free lunch or dinner

Who says no to free food? A free lunch or dinner at a popular restaurant is just the thing that could make any team member feel appreciated. It provides a break from the usual work routine and adds an element of celebration to the workweek.

Consider any dietary restrictions and preferences to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Make it lunch or dinner for two so the team member can bring a spouse, a partner, or a friend along.

employee appreciation gift free lunch

7. A handwritten note

Don’t underestimate the power of a simple handwritten note when showing appreciation to your team. It shows that you've taken the time to craft a message specifically for the recipient, making it feel more meaningful and sincere.

Make the most of the note by specifying the milestone, achievement, or good deed the team member has done. Make it as personalized as possible to demonstrate genuine thought and effort.

8. Special training

Since your appreciation aims to motivate them to further perform at their best, why not go all the way by offering special training programs, classes, workshops, and other development opportunities?

You can give them access to leadership development trainings, technical skills workshops, certification programs, and other industry-specific training that would provide them with an edge in this cutthroat economy.

9. Extra vacation time

If you truly want to show your employees genuine appreciation, some extra time off could be just the thing. It’s the ultimate statement that you provide a supportive and fulfilling work environment for your team members.

You can even bundle this with a trip out of town, adding a hotel room or plane tickets to a cool destination. If the team member receiving the gift prefers to stay home, you can send a hamper containing food, drinks, and self-care products.

10. A night out

Showing appreciation to employees should always have an element of fun, and what better way to do that than by giving them a free night out?

Let your team members have a few rounds and dance the night away — with you taking care of the bill, of course. For those who are not exactly drinkers or dancers, you can buy tickets to a good movie or a reservation at the new bowling alley in town; whatever they do to have a good time.

11. A fun activity

Speaking of fun, there are so many other experiences that you can give as a gift. From indoor skydiving to a hot air balloon ride, these fun activities are truly unforgettable and will be the perfect way to show team members your appreciation for a job well done.

This is also perfect for team milestones and achievements and could be a form of team-building activity.

employee appreciation gift hot air balloon

12. A home appliance

Home appliances are practical gifts that employees can use in their daily lives. Whether it's a kitchen appliance, a cleaning device, or a gadget for home improvement, these items serve a functional purpose and can make life easier for the recipient.

From coffee makers to toaster ovens, home appliances also show that you care about home life and not just their work life.

13. A wellness package

Wellness packages encourage employees to prioritize self-care and strike a healthy balance between work and personal life. Think of it as a subtle reminder to prioritize health and wellness over work performance.

You can give vouchers for gym memberships or yoga classes or access to a healthy cooking class. 

14. A plaque or certificate

The traditional plaque or certificate still hasn’t lost its appeal as an employee gift. It serves as a tangible recognition of an employee's achievements, contributions, or milestones within the organization.

Plaques and certificates are also portable and can be displayed in various settings, such as the office, home, or personal workspace. This allows employees to showcase their achievements and share them with others proudly.

15. Coffee with the CEO

Meeting with the CEO can be a source of motivation and inspiration for employees. It allows them to hear firsthand about the company's vision, goals, and achievements, as well as the CEO's personal journey and leadership philosophy.

Of course, CEOs can be so busy that a physical coffee chat might take a lot of work to schedule. Good thing technology provides virtual alternatives.

Through virtual coffee platforms like CoffeePals, team members can still enjoy the benefits of connecting with the CEO from anywhere, at any time. Add CoffeePals to Microsoft Teams now and start showing appreciation to your employees.

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