Employee Appreciation Ideas and Gifts

Employee Appreciation Ideas and Gifts

Generating employee appreciation ideas for employee recognition programs or gifts is definitely one of the more challenging things because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. What might seem like a great employee appreciation gift at one workplace could be inappropriate for another.

Even if you’ve committed to employee recognition programs, there’s still the matter of selecting your employee recognition awards, which presents you with the same problem as above: Picking out the right awards for your employees.

With all this said, it’s a good idea to start thinking about employee appreciation gifts and ideas so you can start figuring out what will and won’t work for your employees. And remember: While you might use these as National Employee Appreciation Day Ideas, employee recognition should stay high on your priority list all year round — so be ready to use them any time.

Employee Appreciation Ideas

One terrific thing about employee appreciation is that there are tons of ways to recognize your employees that don’t cost much — and a few that don’t cost anything at all. Here are a few employee appreciation ideas you can either use as they are, or use as a jumping-off point as you think about the best ways to show your people that they’re number 1.

  • Put it in writing. When was the last time you got a handwritten note thanking you for a job well done? Chances are it’s been quite a while for nearly everyone, which is why thanking an employee personally in writing makes such a lasting impression. Sometimes the simplest things make the best employee appreciation gifts
  • Shout it out loud! Create an area in your office — make it someplace public — for a bulletin board or whiteboard specifically reserved for employee appreciation. It’s a perfect place for a semiformal “Employee of the Week” posting a chart of ongoing progress toward office goals. Thanking individual employees for their help is always a great employee appreciation idea.
  • Start a suggestion program. Don’t just start one — be responsive to it. If an employee suggests something you think might work, start putting the idea into action by having the employee bring it up at the next staff meeting and soliciting feedback from other employees. This creates an environment in which employees feel their input is important.
  • Be open, and be accommodating. There’s an excellent chance your workplace keeps scheduling open-ended to some degree or another — which means that when employees come to you with requests for schedule changes, you might have the power to make that happen. Don’t ever underestimate what a big deal this is to your employees. Letting employees work a split shift or telecommute for part of the day can make the difference between a scheduling nightmare for them and having an employer that wants to make their lives easier. This one employee appreciation idea can mean a lot.
Employee Appreciation Gifts
Picking gifts for your employees can be a bit trickier, since individual tastes can vary by huge margins within even the smallest offices. There are a couple of general guidelines to help get you on your way, though.
  • Keep quality in mind. If you’re looking into using products with your corporate logo as employee appreciation gifts, don’t cheap out on the products you pick. Pick quality products that are both durable and useful. Not only is this important to your employees, it’s important to your brand. Imagine a cheap product that quickly breaks or gets discarded — and now imagine it with your logo on it. It’s not fun to think about, and it’s definitely not fun to see. Don’t sacrifice quality when bringing your employee appreciation ideas to life.
  • Think fun. One way around paying for higher-end products is to pick useful, fun lower-cost items. Think stress balls, magnetic notepaper clips, LCD monitor cleaning kits, and other unusually useful items. There are lots of ideas for incredibly useful products out there that people don’t even know they want — look into some of those.
  • Think intangibles. Opinions vary widely about logo items vs. gift cards, trophies vs. cash, and so forth. But few, if any, employees aren’t interested in some bonus time off — whether it’s a long lunch break or an added half-day or full day off. Giving your employees the gift of time is one of the best employee appreciation ideas.
Remember: no matter what you decide, the important thing is that you appreciate and recognize your employees, whether it’s National Employee Appreciation Day or any other day of the year. MTM Recognition has experts on hand to help you plan and design your employee appreciation activities. Call MTM today and learn more: 1-877-686-7464 or contact us.