Advertising & Marketing

Gift Ideas to Show Appreciation to Your Employees

Employee Morale Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes!

Looking to recognize, inspire, and retain star employees? Stumped on gift ideas for Employee Appreciation Day? A logo pen is all you need! Just kidding. We find a little levity (and coffee) can help when faced with a daunting task. When it comes to your employee recognition program, we know you can’t rely solely on a logo pen, company mug or customized tumbler to cut the mustard. Make the grade. Fill the bill. (Idioms are fun!) Recognition is about more than that.

Your program may be entirely online, peer-based, customer-based, or revenue-driven. It may recognize annually, quarterly, or on the fly. But as part of the thoughtful program you develop to reward people and actions that make your company tick, the mugs, pens, backpacks, and baseball caps (and a lot more below) serve as physical beacons pointing to the employees moving your business in the desired direction. Upward, that is.

When it comes to gift ideas for Employee Appreciation Day (which is March 6th, 2020, btw!), or just promotional gifts to show appreciation to employees all year round, there is no one-size-fits-all. Here are a few tips that will help you find rewards that work for you!

1. Choose Rewards That Fit Your Corporate Culture

If your office is filled with introverts an action-packed team-building picnic with color-changing tumblers may not be in order. (Well, the tumblers, yes. The picnic, maybe not. We introverts appreciate ice cold beverages as much as the next guy.) When making an employee appreciation gift ideas list, focus on recognition that speaks to the individual employee and reinforces your company vibe and values.

2. Bundle Products with Services

As a promotional marketing company you can count on us to have a few branded products to recommend. But along with custom tumblers consider adding a coffee house gift card (latte on the way to work, anyone?). Bundle Bluetooth headphones with an extra day off to really bring home the “kick back, you deserve it” message. A few more ideas along these lines:

  • To celebrate a milestone, try a bowling outing including a friendly inter-departmental competition. Include team-specific logo t-shirts, of course!
  • Blazing new revenue trails? Mark the occasion with custom backpacks for the teams that made their numbers! And include a day-hike for the team to leverage the synergy.
  • Sales person of the year? Make sure they travel in style with custom luggage. And help them break in the new carry-on with a fun-filled weekend getaway on you.
  • Tough to get everyone out of the office? Consider a team lunch, catered at the office, including white linens and centerpieces so they know they’re special. And to top it off, a gift of wine glasses customized with your logo so they can continue the celebration at home!
  • Encourage some well-deserved work/life balance. Rent a massage chair for employees to use for a week. Kick off the week with a logo yoga mat for each team member so they can take a little calm home!
  • A dedicated employee can always use a house cleaning and is probably too busy to arrange it themselves. Combine complimentary house cleanings for the A-team with customized beach towels so they can hit the beach while the windows get washed!
  • Tickets to a sporting event guarantee fun will be had! Include a stadium cushion to commemorate this and future outdoor celebrations of success!

3. Birthdays Matter!

All employees who invest time in support of your corporate goals appreciate a little recognition on their birthdays. What a great opportunity to engage meaningfully with each employee! If you didn’t have time to collect gift ideas for Employee Appreciation Day or it’s just not your style, a birthday gift is always a winner. To make things easy and fun, pick a gift for each year that all employees get. This ties employees together around a mutually meaningful milestone. When looking at gifts to show appreciation to employees on their birthday, think of gifts that have wide-spread use and appeal, such as:

4. Budget for Ongoing Engagement

Whether the reward is big or small, recognizing employees is important for morale and team spirit. Make your program fast, frequent, and fun. Get as close to instant gratification as you can. Just like in consumer marketing, where each touch point leads closer to a conversion, in the case of employee recognition, each recognition or special gift leads closer to employee retention, inspiration, and commitment.

Whether it’s a full-on rewards program, gift ideas for Employee Appreciation Day, or on-hand gifts to show appreciation to employees on a spontaneous basis, maintain a budget, big or small, to keep gifts in the hopper and morale strong!

5. Launch, Learn, Adjust

Recognition will change with your employees, your budget, and the surrounding environment. Branded hoodies in the winter may give way to wine tumblers in the summer. A massage chair one quarter may give way to deep dish pizza and ice cream sundaes the next. Keep your employees engaged by refreshing your rewards regularly.

Most importantly, pick products and services that you feel good about distributing, share them generously, and always with a smile!

Karleen Wise Andersen

From marketing tips to product recommendations, I’m here to help small businesses be their best.

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