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11 Unique Gift Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

11 Unique Gift Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

employee appreciation gift ideas 2018

Employee Appreciation Week is almost here. Looking for some fresh ideas to show employees your gratitude this year? Instead of giving them another branded mug or pen, find a gift that is both meaningful and practical. Depending on how big your company is, you can pick out gifts individually or organize an office-wide event. Showing that you care can go a long way – according to a 2014 study, “58% of employees say that giving recognition is how leaders could do more to improve engagement.” You’ll be surprised by the variety of thoughtful gifts out there.

Throw fleece blankets

Sometimes the office can feel more like an icebox than a productivity paradise, and science has the research to support that. For that someone who’s always chilly and sipping on warm drinks, consider getting them a throw blanket to keep at their desk. It will keep your team members cozy, comfortable and – in turn – more productive at the office.

Professional growth classes

Trying to instill a thirst for knowledge on your team? Give your employees access to over 2000 personal growth classes at Udemy, Skillshare or Udacity. For only $240, up to 20 people can take online classes on subjects ranging from design and accounting to sales and marketing. Encourage your employees to take a class that interests them. Studies show that professional development training can increase employee satisfaction and productivity.

Planners and journals

Keep your employees organized with a journal or planner. Writing down thoughts, goals, and reminders can be a great way to increase productivity. Plus, journaling can help promote focus and responsibility in the workplace as well as strengthen mental health overall. Some gift options to consider are The Five Minute Journal and this wide selection of daily planners

Catered lunch

The fastest way to your employees’ hearts is through their stomachs. Have lunch catered by a well-known chain like Chipotle or Panera Bread Company or go down the artisanal route with a local caterer. Don’t forget to account for any food allergies and special preferences. Call a mandatory meeting from noon to 1:30 pm, then shock and awe the crowd by treating them to their favorite food. You’ll show your appreciation and have the opportunity to chat with your team informally.

Office massages from Zeel

Is your hardworking team in need of some quality R&R? Bring the relaxation to them with a Zeel in-office massage. This is a great perk for your weary employees, many of whom are stiff and sore from leaning over a computer all day. A massage eases chronic back and neck pain. And it’s a great way to improve morale and energy levels in the office.

With an in-office massage, a licensed Zeel massage therapist will travel to your workplace, equipment in tow, to provide relaxing, therapeutic chair massage that employees LOVE. And if you’re looking for a last minute gift, a Zeel massage can be booked in less than 24 hours.

Housekeeping gift cards

Good leaders understand that life exists outside of work. When you’re looking to treat your team for employee appreciation week, consider a gift card for a professional house cleaning service such as Tidy or Maidpro. This is especially appropriate for someone experiencing a major life change, such as a new baby or a sick parent. It’s a considerate gift that shows you care about your team as individuals, and not just as employees.

Charity donation

What better way to show you care about your employees and their humanitarian values than supporting a charity of their choice? Put together a list of 20 charities that are compatible with your company’s values and ask your employees to pick their top 3. Some options to consider include the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, UNICEF, Salvation Army, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Paying it forward is the absolute gift.


Who doesn’t like going to the movies? With a MoviePass monthly subscription, your employees get free access to 91% of movie theatres across the country. All they need to do is show their Moviepass card or app at the theatre, and they get free admission to an unlimited number of movie screenings, except 3D and IMAX. A MoviePass subscription is a very flexible gift option – the payments are month-to-month and you can cancel at any time.

Noise-canceling headphones

It’s no news that some people are more sensitive to excess noise in the workplace. If someone on your team is always running off to a meeting room to get some peace and quiet, give them noise-canceling headphones. Not only do the headphones block out office chatter, but employees can enjoy their favorite music. The result – improved concentration and a better overall workplace environment.

Travel charging kit or organizer

It’s a real pain in the neck when your phone battery dies and you can’t find the right charger. Especially if you’re traveling. If some of your employees take frequent business trips, consider getting them a travel charging kit. This set is super versatile – it includes three different cables (Apple 30-pin, USB mini, USB micro), which can be used to charge Apple products, Androids, Nooks, Kindles, and more. For laptops, consider getting a portable power bank for when they’re on the go. Another alternative is an electronics accessories organizer that will help jet-setters keep their chores and chargers organized.

Bike share memberships

During the last five years, bike share programs have become increasingly popular in urban areas, allowing people to rent bikes directly from a docking station and return them when they’re done. Many of these programs, such as CitibikeDivvy, and Capital Bikeshare, have corporate membership programs, meaning you can gift employees access to free/discounted bike rides. Bikes are the gift that keeps on giving.

Make it personal

Remember, there are many ways to avoid the generics and be creative for Employee Appreciation Week. Random gift cards or general business books may be less meaningful than something that connects with your employees on a personal level. Whatever you choose, make sure it shows you’re invested in your employees as both members of your team and people.

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