12 employee recognition gifts employees will love

By Jostle

5 min read

12 employee recognition gifts employees will love
Illustration by Kevin Yu

Employee recognition is a powerful tool with great transformative power and can boost overall employee morale, motivation, commitment, and dedication toward their job.

Your employees are, after all, the driving force of your company or organization, and they deserve to be appreciated and celebrated for all their hard work and undying efforts. 

A little appreciation goes a long way in fostering a positive work culture, and it's essential to recognize and celebrate employee achievements, whether small or big.

One of the best ways to do that is with thoughtful, personalized, and meaningful employee recognition gifts that resonate with your employees and let them know how much you value them and their contributions. Gifts are a wonderful way to show appreciation; the best part is there are so many unique options!

Choosing the right employee recognition gifts 

Gift-giving is quite an art, and when it comes to your employees, you want to give them something that aligns with their preferences, achievements, and interests. Your chosen gift should reflect relevance, attention to detail, and thoughtfulness.

Here are a few factors to consider when exploring employee recognition gifts:

  • Budget - create a budget for the gifts based on the number of employees and how much you are willing to spend on each gift.
  • Type of gift - from desk plants to customized mugs to thank-you baskets, there are many gift options to consider. Choose the type of gift you wish to give your employees to make things easier.
  • Longevity - you want to give your employees something memorable that stays with them forever and reminds them of your appreciation.
  • Employee interests - what would your employees like to receive as a gift? Best to find out and give them something they would truly cherish. 

Meaningful and employee recognition gift ideas

Awards and trophies

From engraved plaques to trophies to certificates, these are excellent employee recognition gifts that will offer your employees a sense of achievement. You can add personal touches to your chosen gift, such as employee names or individual achievements. They can hold onto it forever, always reminding them of their accomplishments.

Thoughtful gift baskets

When it comes to corporate gifts, personalization goes a long way in making your employees feel appreciated and recognized for their hard work. The ideal options here include thoughtful care packages and gift baskets that can either be based on wellness, self-care, or food.  

It would be even better to tailor these packages or baskets according to individual employees' interests and preferences, showing them how much you care about them.

Experiential rewards

Give your employees a chance to connect and you outside the office through experiential rewards such as a spa or wellness retreat, adventure activities like rock climbing or ice skating, or tickets to special events like movies or concerts. It is a perfect employee recognition gift that will provide a fantastic opportunity for group bonding and sharing a fun experience.  

Customized merchandise

Corporate merchandise is one of the most common employee recognition gifts, and for the right reason, too. It fosters a sense of belonging in employees and creates a feeling of shared pride to be a part of the company. You can consider many options, such as customized stationery, tech gadgets, mugs, and apparel.

Professional development opportunities

Employee recognition gifts open doors to numerous opportunities for you to showcase your appreciation, including providing your employees with professional development opportunities such as training courses, workshops, and conferences. It will allow them to acquire new skills and show them how invested you are in their growth and development.

12 unique and budget-friendly employee recognition gift ideas 

We've rounded up the top 12 budget-friendly and unique employee recognition gifts to reward your team, celebrate their wins, and express gratitude.

1. Customized tote bag and travel mug

This is a simple yet practical employee recognition gift that your employees can use daily. The travel mug will be handy for people who are always running late and have coffee on the go. And a tote bag is quite a versatile item that they can utilize for numerous purposes.

You can customize the mug and bag for each employee and get their names printed on it, adding a personalized touch to your gift. 

2. Flowers and chocolates 

Flowers are the epitome of thoughtful gifts, and when coupled with chocolates, they make the perfect employee recognition gifts. You can surprise your employees by leaving a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers with a box of chocolates on their desk or station and make their day.

3. Snack box 

Who doesn't like to munch on little treats while they are at work, right? A snack pack gift box full of sweet and savory snacks is ideal for your employees. You can also include healthy treats like granola bars or fruit chips to help them stay energized during work.

4. Cozy and comfy hoodies

Help your employees stay warm and comfortable with high-quality, cozy hoodies. It might sound unconventional as an employee recognition gift, but it's unique! Customize the hoodies with their names and take your gift to another level.

5. Spa gift card

Give your employees a chance to relax, unwind and take a break from things with customized spa gift cards. You can tailor the spa services according to the receiver's preferences or let them choose themselves according to a set amount.

6. Desk plants 

From relieving stress to offering mood-boosting benefits to adding an aesthetic appeal, desk plants make wonderful employee recognition gifts. They are also ideal for brightening up the workplace with some greenery. Add a personalized 'thank you' note with your gift for an added touch of thought. 

7. Self-care gift hamper

Health and wellness should always be at the forefront of your organization's values, and one way to show your employees that you care about them is with a well-curated self-care gift hamper. You can include many amazing things in this gift, such as essential oils, bath bombs, Epsom salts, meditation cushions, silk sleep masks, scented candles, herbal teas, and so much more!

8. Handmade baked goods 

If you have a tight budget with a passion for baking, you can bring freshly baked handmade goods to the office for all your employees. It is a lovely way to express your gratitude and appreciation. It could be anything from brownies, cookies, muffins, or croissants. 

9. Movie tickets 

Gift your employees tickets for the latest movie in a nearby cinema and have their weekend plans sorted. 

10. Office upgrades 

From new ergonomic chairs to customized earbuds to quality speakers to charging accessories, surprise your employees with office grades and show them how much you appreciate them and their work.

11. Laptop sleeve 

Corporate gifting doesn't get better than customized laptop sleeves! It will help your employees keep their laptops safe and secure while adding a chic look with a premium laptop sleeve with their initials.

12. A Surprise Day Off

Reward your employees with a surprise day off and allow them to choose a day of their liking. This sweet gesture will go a long way in boosting employee morale, motivation, and happiness.

Final word 

Your employees need to feel heard, recognized, and rewarded for their contributions to your company through meaningful employee recognition gifts.

Employee recognition goes a long way in achieving all that and ultimately paves the way to employee satisfaction, retention, and overall company success. 

These gifts aren't just gifts - they are a way to let your employees know you care for them, value their contributions, and have confidence in them to do great things. 


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