Great Employee Gift Ideas

By Nan Werther , last updated January 15, 2012

The following gift ideas for employees are great ways to make your staff feel appreciated, and making your workforce feel valued is important to boosting morale, employee retention, and overall productivity. While there are many kinds of gifts you can shower on someone, the best give back from the heart. Try these creative methods of appreciation to truly show you value your employees.

Everyone enjoys a free lunch, so why not consider whipping up a homemade, heartfelt feast? When many people rely on convenience to increase their efficiency, a meal cooked by management can go a long way towards making one feel appreciated. Why not throw a potluck where all the dishes are made by upper-level management? Display note cards with the name of the dish along with who made it. Take the time to say a personal thank you at the lunch. If it's warm outside, consider dismissing early and inviting everyone to a catered picnic in the park. Bring a bocce ball set or volleyball net along to increase the fun. Just make sure employees know beforehand about the event so they can plan for appropriate dress.

Hire a chair masseuse for the day and have him or her work. Give everyone a half hour appointment slot to enjoy a free, stress-relieving massage sure to remind them of how appreciated they are. Include a gender-neutral gift bag with stress relieving trinkets that anyone can use at work or at home. Try a stress ball with the company logo, a soy-based candle in a soothing citrus scent, or a meditation CD.

Install an employee-of-the-week program where fellow co-workers can nominate others for their efforts in the workplace. Encourage them to fill out a note explaining what actions or attitude merited recognition, and read these aloud at a casual weekly gathering at the end of each Friday. Enter the names in a monthly drawing where the winner receives a trip or package to a Bed and Breakfast or other local getaway.

With more and more of the workplace connected on mobile devices, why not give everyone an e-gift card? Popular choices include iTunes cards, which allow the recipient to choose between their favorite music, movies, podcasts, TV shows, and apps. Anywhere from a 10 to 50 dollar amount can provide hours of relaxing entertainment.

While not everyone has a green thumb, plants are a lovely accent to the home or workplace. Studies have shown that some greenery can improve moods and succulents are both beautiful and hardy options. Consider giving each employee a plant to care for while improving the air and attitude of the workplace.

For those businesses that want to give back in more ways than one, why not give your employees gift cards to your client's businesses? It's a great way to demonstrate mutual appreciation while familiarizing your employees with the clients that keep your company thriving.

Give money to a charitable organization in your employees' name. Puppies Behind Bars is a great charity that teaches inmates to train dogs to help the disabled. It's hard not to feel good about helping others.

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