An employee opens up an appreciation gift from her employer

A Guide for Picking Out the Best Appreciation Gifts for Employees

There are few things as exciting as opening up a gift, especially when it’s unexpected. Likewise, there are few things as disappointing as opening up a package only to find something you don’t want inside. Suddenly, that “thoughtful” gift has become a burden. 

If the goal was to ensure you feel their appreciation, it didn’t work. 

Choosing the right appreciation gifts for employees matters. Do you know the difference between a quality gift and an empty gesture? If you don’t, we guarantee your staff does. 

With burnout on the rise, the right token can be the difference between a loyal employee and an ex-employee.  We’ve put together this guide to help you choose the best appreciation gift ideas for employees. Continue reading to discover what goes into the types of gifts that make employees feel valuable.

Aim For High-Quality, High-Value Gifts 

We’re sure you’ve encountered a few low-quality trinkets in your time. You can usually tell these items by their unfamiliar brand names and low-grade materials. While you may not want to break the bank, inexpensive appreciation gifts for employees send a negative message. If you want to convince your team that you value their effort and contributions, you should choose gifts with value.

High-value gifts come from familiar and trustworthy premium brands and are made from durable materials. Upon opening the gift, your employees will experience an instant sense of familiarity. Often, the quality is evident based on physical touch and heft alone, whether you’re gifting apparel or electronics. 

A great example of a high-quality, high-value gift is a piece of brand-name apparel, such as a jacket, fleece, or sweatshirt. 

As a general rule, a product has value if:

  • It comes from a familiar brand you associate with quality 
  • It includes additional customization or personalization
  • It is a premium product made from quality materials
  • It has a neat presentation and arrives in beautiful packaging 

Even small appreciation gifts for employees can have a high value for their size. For example, consider a pair of wireless earbuds. If your employee already has a pair, it’s a gift valuable enough to be worthy of saving or re-gifting. Most importantly, it comes across as thoughtful rather than obligatory. 

Think About Functionality 

A remote employee opens an appreciation gift from his employer

An item can have a high perceived value and still end up in the trash by the end of the day. Ideally, the best gifts are also practical or functional. They should be something an employee is likely to want, need, or find a use for. If they don’t personally use the gift, it should be something they can share with family or friends. 

Three popular categories of functional gifts are apparel items, electronics, and home goods.  

Gifting Apparel Items

Apparel items are some of our favorite holiday appreciation gifts for employees. As the weather begins getting colder, everyone is happy to have an extra hoodie, jacket, sweater, or flannel on hand. You can add an additional level of perceived value by choosing premium brands such as The North Face or Nike.

As a bonus, you can customize apparel with branding, boosting your company’s brand awareness at the same time. Consider custom logo embroidery or screen printing to add a personal touch to every gift. 

Popular apparel gifts include:

  • Clothing with brand logos such as jackets, sweatshirts, fleeces, or polos
  • Drinkware like water bottles, travel mugs, or tumblers 
  • Accessories like hats or scarves
  • Gifts for travel like tote bags, laptop bags, and backpacks

Gifting Electronics 

Electronics typically have a high perceived value, regardless of brand, though it’s important to choose premium products that work. Prioritize electronics with a practical, day-to-day use. For example, a set of speakers or chargers is more useful than a handheld fan or a gimmicky USB gadget. 

Resist the temptation to choose “unique gifts” that don’t do very much. As a rule, only gift office supplies or desk accessories if they have a function. Otherwise, you’re giving the gift of clutter. 

Gifting Home Goods

It’s okay to give employees gifts that they can use at home. These show your employees that you want to add value to their lives beyond work hours. This is a great category to aim for if you want to gift something somewhat unique. They also make great appreciation gifts for remote employees who make their home their workplace!

Popular gifts in the home goods category include:

  • Blankets and other home linens
  • Kitchen appliances like popcorn poppers, culinary knives, or utensil sets
  • Home drinkware like wine glasses 
  • Aromatherapy gift sets

Adding a company logo or branding to these products adds further value while helping to spread brand awareness. 

Reward Employees With Gifts They Actually Want

Choosing appreciation gifts for employees that they want to receive is a low bar. Still, it takes time to sort through products and choose high-quality gifts and apparel. Your time is a valuable resource. That’s why the team at Lead Apparel curates their premium selection of appreciation gifts. 

When you shop Lead Apparel, you’ll know you’re getting a practical, functional, high-quality gift. More importantly, you’ll receive start-to-finish service. If you’re rewarding a remote team, we can even help you ship gifts directly to your employees. Every gift arrives fully personalized with your logo or message in packaging that ensures your staff feels your genuine appreciation. 

Are you ready to reward your employees for a job well done? Shop our collection of premium gifts today. 

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