Our Favorite Employee Gift Ideas
Our Favorite Employee Gift Ideas
Is your team the best around? Heck yeah they are!
First of all, they've got you. And since you've made your way to this blog post, that probably means you're doing some research into getting some gifts for your employees. So you're already cooler than a lotttt of other bosses. Just sayin'.
Second, your team is totally killing it — and that deserves to be celebrated!
But before you start planning a pizza party, we wanted to let you in on a little secret: your employees do not want a pizza party. It’s true. They also don’t want a “swag bag” full of branded stuff leftover from that 2020 conference that never happened. Sorry, not sorry.
So, what DO employees want? What makes a great employee gift? Why does employee gifting even matter??
We’re so glad you asked. Let's break it down! 👇
Why is Employee Gifting Important in 2022?
Let’s start here — because in order to get employee gifting right, you’ve gotta start with the basics.
First and foremost, employee gifting is an important part of creating a culture of appreciation and recognition. When people feel valued and appreciated for their work, levels of employee engagement, loyalty, and productivity skyrocket. But how often do you show your employees that you appreciate all of their hard work?
The truth is that employees oftentimes don't feel valued and appreciated. This is hard for many leaders to wrap their heads around because it feels so obvious. But since there's usually one boss to multiple employees, it can be really hard for people to feel recognized for their efforts — especially when things get busy! Yes, employees understand they aren’t going to get a pat on the back every time they hit a goal (and they shouldn’t — after all, it is their job). But we all know the happy feeling we get when someone goes out of their way to recognize our hard work!
With so many of us now working fully remote or in hybrid office models, expressing appreciation to employees has gotten even more complicated! Without a shared office environment, all of those little “nice work” remarks and “good job!” moments are way less frequent than before. Gifts are a great way to bridge this gap because they can recreate that "pat on the back" feeling when your boss mentions your work during a big meeting, and reinforce a sense of belonging and camaraderie that you feel when your team hits a big goal. And as we all know, experiences like these really matter!
What's in it for You?
HOT TAKE: Employee gifts are a great investment.
I know what you're thinking and tbh, you're not wrong — we're a corporate gifting company so, fine, we're biased!
BUT, hear us out: studies show that companies that invest in employee recognition efforts achieve 4x annual revenue than their competitors. Why? It's a no-brainer: when people feel valued and appreciated at work, levels of employee engagement, loyalty, and productivity skyrocket. That means less turnover, saving businesses millions of dollars in hiring costs.
A little employee appreciation goes a long way! The numbers don't lie:
Employee Gift Examples
Check out some of our favorite employee gifting projects!
We loved creating these awesome holiday gifts for Evernote's employees this past Christmas! They wanted alllll the cozy vibes so we designed this fun gift filled with everything you need for a perfect winter night in: Table Topics, a popcorn kit, Yatzy, and a lush herringbone blanket featuring the Evernote logo. Complete with a branded insert including warm wishes from the CEO, this was the *perfect* holiday gift for the Evernote team!
Samsung believes their employees' health and well-being are crucial to the company's overall success. They have a top-rated employee benefits program, SmartHealth, which offers comprehensive healthcare, flexible schedules to maintain work-life balance, financial wellness plans, and generous family-first benefits.
We created these gorgeous wellness-themed gifts for Samsung's team members to help promote interest and employee engagement in the SmartHealth program. The gifts included items like a custom journal, a branded Miir water bottle, a candle by Beverly & 3rd, and a few other items to inspire mindfulness.
MITRE is a not-for-profit organization that operates federally funded research and development centers to assist the US government with scientific research, development, and systems engineering. Every year, they host an awesome employee awards ceremony called The Program Recognition Awards. The event was held virtually this year, so the MITRE team was looking for a way to get employees excited about the Awards and to make sure it was super interactive. We love helping our clients come up with the perfect gifting solutions, so our team was pretttty jazzed when they went for our virtual photo booth suggestion! We went all out to make this gift feel celebratory and fun: the gift included a disco puzzle, silly photo booth props, a selfie light, confetti, and more.
Celtra is a tech company that specializes in creative automation for advertising and marketing. They have a fast-growing team and we were thrilled to help them create the ultimate employee gift for new hires! This stunning gift features office essentials like a custom notebook by Appointed Co. and a branded pocket folder, plus a few other great products like a Yeti mug featuring the Celtra logo and a jar of Slovenian honey (a nod to the founder's home country!) with a honey dipper. They also included Setting the Table by Danny Meyer, an excellent book featuring life and business lessons from a hospitality perspective. Imagine receiving right before you started at a new company - pretttty cool, right?!
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We've helped Zendesk with lots of fun gifting projects over the years, but we especially loved putting our creative muscles to work when Zendesk came to us to create a fun wellness kit for one of their teams that was planning a group workout event. The goal: create an experience employees would enjoy and that would stand out as a memorable team-building event.
No sweat! We designed a gift that this team could use during and after their heart-pumping activity. We didn’t receive photo evidence, but we heard our Zendesk friends had a blast working out together and then refueling with some protein-packed snacks!
LINQ is a tech company offering a suite of tools built to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of K-12 district operations and communications. They came to us looking for holiday gifts filled with useful products for their hardworking employees! They chose this design directly from our Corporate Catalog, but added a few branded elements to make the gift feel extra personal.
We created hundreds of mindfulness-themed gifts for Chicken of the Sea's employees in honor of Employee Appreciation Day! These nautical gifts were super on-brand and included a variety of products to instill a sense of calm during an uncertain time. Cozy branded socks, a box of Rishi tea, a Teak & Twine signature Sea Salt candle... I feel zen just looking at these gifts!
System1, a global marketing tech company, went public on the NYSE at the beginning of 2022! 🎉 In preparation for their IPO, System1 reached out to us for celebration gifts to send to their employees. With a team of over 300 people working all over the world, we were so excited to create a gift designed to help employees celebrate together, even when they're miles apart! With custom Champagne branded flutes, a pinata puzzle, sparklers and more, this gift is party perfect!!!
Do's & Don'ts
Tips for Employee Gifting
- Create a gift that is cohesive, relevant and tells a story
- Show off your company culture by highlighting your core values
- Add a personal touch, like a thoughtful note or a QR code that takes employees to a personal video from the CEO (or you!)
- Have fun with it!
- Default to boring swag — you're better than that!
- Go overboard with your logo! A tasteful branded touch will do the trick.
- Assume "one size fits all" — gifts should be gender neutral and inclusive
- Skimp on packaging and presentation
WRAPPING IT UP
Employee Gifting in 2022
Did I just hear someone say "BEST BOSS EVER"?
Not only will your team be totally obsessed with you, but gifting your employees is proven to bring companies stronger business results. That's because gifts are an extremely effective tool to motivate your team and enhance your company culture -- they help you show (not just tell!) your team how much you appreciate them. After all, gift-giving is a tradition as old as time — they just make people feel good! Going out of your way to put together a gift for employees represents a level of care and attention that can really make a difference in workplace satisfaction. Remember: happy employees means happy customers, which means more money. And you'll make people feel good too, which is always a plus!
Check out our Corporate Catalog to see our latest collection of corporate gift designs and learn more about what it's like to work with our team!