10 Thoughtful Gifts Your Employees Will Actually Like

thoughtful gifts employees like coworker gifting office presents

The average American spends about $700 on gifts every year during the holiday seasons. It's not usually about how much you spend on a gift; it's about how the gift makes someone else feel.

As an employer looking to show appreciation to your staff, gift giving is an excellent idea. Most employees don’t expect any gifts from their employers. So, in most cases, the gifts will come as a pleasant surprise.

However, deciding on what to get for each employee can be a daunting task, especially when you want to show that you have put some thought into it. Employees vary from one individual to another in terms of preferences and likes. It can be quite challenging to make everyone feel special.  

To help you narrow down on gift ideas, here are ten thoughtful gifts that you should get for your employees.


1. Novelty Items

Novelty gifts are uniquely designed items that don't necessarily have to serve any practical purpose. They may also be everyday objects with unique features that make them look funny or interesting to play with.

Look for work-related novelty items like a leaf-shaped pen, a toy car that's also a flash drive, hand-shaped paperweights, and the likes. The list is endless.

Novelty gifts are for people who like to see the fun in things and take life easy.


2. Electronic Accessories

There is always that one tech enthusiast among your employees who is all about the latest devices and electronics. Get them something that strikes home with that enthusiasm.

It doesn’t have to be the latest iMac pro or anything that extravagant. Think about something small, like a pair of USB powered gloves, a desktop coffee heater, or one of those LED USB fans to toy around with.

The idea is to get them an intriguing device that uses serious tech for fun applications that are not necessarily a problem.


3. Drinks and Confectionaries

If you have any wine, coffee, beer, chess, or chocolate lovers, why not get them some of what they like. You could get a drinks or confectionaries basket filled with a selection of delicacies. There is also nothing wrong with getting someone a case of beer, especially if it somehow relates to an inside joke.

It doesn’t have to be consumables either. You could treat your wine lovers to a wine tasting event. For the coffee addicts, a new coffee maker could do just as well. 


4. Office Décor

This is for that employee with an artistic spirit. It could also be for someone who enjoys looking at creative or elegant pieces of art. Get them a small painting, curving, a bonsai kit, or some art-inspired fittings and accessories.

Again, we are not talking about the Monalisa kind of art. Just something that could catch an artistic eye using creative details.


5. Gift Cards

Gift cards have a poor reputation as gifts. They may tell the recipient that you couldn't be bothered to pick up a gift. However, carefully selected shopping vouchers, spa dates, and event tickets could end up being greatly appreciated presents.


6. Personalized Items

Nothing says special like a personalized gift. We are talking about adding names, initials, and other personal brandings on common items like t-shirts, coffee mugs, and phone covers.

Different items require different branding techniques. It could be embroidery in the case of clothes or engraving on solid surfaces. Such gifts make a deep personal connection.  


7. Practical Gifts

Gifts don't just have to be fun; they can be useful as well. Identify those employees who could really use something to facilitate their work or lifestyle.

A new laptop bag, for instance, could come in handy for the staff member who always carries their laptop by hand. It could also be something that helps the employee organize his/her workspace, like a desktop toolbox.

A practical gift may not be fun, but it’s a thoughtful way to show appreciation.  


8. Trips and Adventures

Don’t confine yourself to just material gifts. Some of your employees may enjoy tours and outdoor adventures.

Interestingly, it’s not only thrill-seekers who can enjoy great adventures. Introduce some of your employees to new activities beyond their comfort zones. It is guaranteed that they will always keep an impression of such experiences.

To do this, you can simply book events and outings and then award the tickets as gifts.  


9. Thoughtful Gifts to Match the Occasion

In the workplace, gifts should not be awarded during the holiday seasons only. There are several occasions that present excellent opportunities for gift giving. For example, you could give out gifts after a promotion, during a retirement party, after an exceedingly profitable quarter, and so on.

Select appropriate gifts to match the occasion or the current status of your employees. A good example of an occasion-appropriate gift is a stroller for an employee who has just had a newborn baby.


10. Gifts for Die-Hard Fans

It is quite easy to please fans of particular sports, movie genres or popular cultures. All you have to do is get the relevant merchandise, show tickets or other related items that represent fan interests. But you first have to learn all the necessary details, like what is their favorite team, actors or movies.

However, be creative and don’t go for cliché gifts. Some ideas may seem a bit odd, but anything that reminds fans of their favorite football teams or movie characters are always highly adored.


Bottom Line

The one thing that becomes apparent in coming up with thoughtful gifts is that you have to know your employees. Learn each person’s interest, lifestyle, hobbies, and personalities. This way, you’ll always have an idea of which gift best suits a particular employee.

It’s also important not to play favorites. The employees will definitely take note of the value of all the different items you give away. Those who get mugs may sneer at those who get laptops.

Keep the gifts within a narrow price range. This should prevent your employees from thinking of the gifts as a representation of the level of affection. Such consideration will also stamp out any ideas of workplace favoritism.

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