7 Staff Appreciation Gifts to Reward Hard Work

Are you looking for unique and inspirational ways to recognize employees?

Reports show that happy employees can be 20% more productive than unhappy ones. One way to keep your employees happy at work is to recognize and reward their efforts.

What you need is to give them items to motivate them to look forward to your next big reward. Also, you need staff appreciation gifts that will be useful to them.

Below, we’ve got a list of appreciation gifts your staff will love and value.

1. Digital Rewards

Everyone in the workplace uses an app or online service. Even custodians use Spotify or other similar music apps. Outside the workplace, employees may enjoy unwinding with the newest Candy Crush-like game.

If you’re looking for “employee of the month” ideas, treating an employee a productivity app is one way to go. This is especially useful for employees who have a lot on their plate in and outside of work. Check out apps like Toggl, ToDoist, and Trello, and see if your employee will like it.

If your employee turns down the offer, your alternative is gift cards for apps stores of their choice. Let them know how it works, and that they can use it to buy whatever app they want. If you know they’re avid gamers, buy them digital gift cards for Steam, PlayStation, or League of Legends RP Cards.

2. Commute Aid

Transportation to and from work is one of the biggest expenses of an average employee. We’re sure your staff will appreciate commute help as a reward. Remember to ask your employees about how they make their way to work first.

If they take the bus or the train, offer to cover their bus tickets or train passes. Does this month’s best employee drive to work? You can reward them for their hard work by covering for their parking fees.

Note, you don’t need to cover all transportation costs. Good staff appreciation gifts don’t have to bleed your funds dry. A week’s worth of transportation costs is already a big help.

3. Customized Coins, Items, or Tokens

Do you want employee recognition award ideas that give subtle reminders to keep up the work? Try commissioning items that will fit on their desks or workspaces. Whenever they glance at it, they’ll get motivated to work smart like they did to earn it.

However, to bring out true motivation, don’t settle for cheap and common items or trinkets. Look for items that are one-of-a-kind and those that are valuable. You want to get them something that is nice and worth more than your usual incentive.

For example, customized coins are a small yet striking gift. It’s great for those who know about the military challenge coin custom or those who served in the military. To make it a pleasant surprise, present the coin military-style: through a handshake.

As a tip, listen to your employees when they talk about themselves. It’s one way to get an idea about what rewards they’ll enjoy the most. If they’re the secretive or quiet type, be direct and ask them about what they’d like as a reward.

4. Travel Rewards

One of the best employee thank-you gifts you can give is plane tickets. In 2018, 768 million vacation days went unused. One reason for this is because employees find traveling expensive.

We all know how important it is to take a break from work and work-related things now and then. Encourage your employees to take their vacation days and make the most out of them. Offer one-way or round-trip plane tickets to a destination.

If you have a handful of employees to show your appreciation to, buy plane tickets for various destinations. Let the employees decide which tickets they want to take. To be fair, let them draw from a bowl the destinations they get to visit.

5. Coffee-Related Incentives

Now, caffeine is the lifeblood of the average employee, especially in the US. This is why it’s a big plus to reward them with coffee or coffee-related items. If this is your plan, your best bet is to look at Starbucks for nice coffee paraphernalia.

Check out Starbucks’ gift sets or gift card offers. Look for something your star employee may enjoy most. Let your best employee choose between French presses, spill-proof mugs, or travel coffee mugs.

Giving them a choice helps make the reward feel more worthwhile.

Remember to notice the contents of your employees’ mugs on their desks first. They may not drink coffee for certain reasons. If your employee prefers tea, offer tea infuser bottle travel mugs instead.

6. Hold Parties for Deserving Staff

We’re in an era where FOMO or Fear of Missing Out is a real thing. The reason why FOMO came about is that people value experience more now. Thus, it’s safe to say your employees will value the experience of having their bosses hold parties for their hard work.

Hold parties in line with birthdays, anniversaries, or other occasions. You can encourage some of their closest colleagues to help you plan the party. This way, the party gets a personal touch that best suits your employee.

If the employee is an introvert, he or she isn’t likely to enjoy the party. Putting them in the middle of the spotlight may become a discouragement for them to work their best. Instead of bringing the entire team in, hold a private lunch date with them instead.

7. Offer Career-Based Rewards

In some of the best employee recognition programs, career-based rewards are often a focus. Employees, especially those with ambition, will most appreciate this. This reward type benefits not only the employee but also the company or business.

Send employees to leadership training. If they want to take an online class to further their skills, let them. Good things come when you invest in your employees, and when they’ll invest in you.

Don’t fret too much if they choose classes not related to their work. It may be their childhood dream to enroll in a culinary class. Or, it’s possible your employee always wanted to learn how to speak Russian but didn’t have the time.

Thank Employees for Doing Their Best

No matter the size of your business, it’s always a good idea to show appreciation to employees. They’re more than cogs to a machine; they’re human too. They also want to feel appreciated and happy in the workplace.

That’s it for our list of some of the best staff appreciation gifts you can give. We hope this list gave you an idea about how you can show your employees appreciation. If you want to read more content like this one, check out our other guides.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.