15 Unique Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas

unique employee appreciation gifts

Showing your employees that their efforts are appreciated isn't just polite--it's absolutely critical for a happy workplace and can even increase employee engagement and productivity. Take your employee recognition program up a notch with these thank you gift ideas--no cheap thank you gifts like Starbucks cards or stress balls included.

Unique Employee Appreciation Gifts

1. Cookie basket

The way to your employees' hearts is through their stomachs. The Cookies By Design Corporate Gift Pail includes 12 bite-sized gourmet chocolate chip cookies and a cookie customized with your company logo- or you could send in a jpg of your face for the cookie's design, instead!

2. Lottery tickets

Give your employees a moment of fantasy as they imagine a life of riches and early retirement--before putting them back to work.

3. Personal training or yoga voucher

Whether or not your company provides incentives for staying fit, like gym membership reimbursement, a gift certificate for a private session or group class at a sports studio can show you care about employee well-being in and out of the office.

4. Life coach session

You want your employees to reach their full potential. Help them get inspired about their personal and professional growth with a one-on-one with a professional motivator.

5. Adult education class

Personal enrichment helps drive employee satisfaction. Continuing education can happen in a classroom, but just as easily could take place at the botanical gardens (horticulture), cafeteria (cooking), or sidewalks (street photography), to name a few.

6. Movie tickets

Realistically, you'd be presenting a gift card to a theater chain or from Fandango, but it's the thought ("Free movie tickets!") that counts.

7. Sports jersey

T-shirts are OK, but jerseys are better. Go with the local pro sports team's jerseys or customize company- or department-branded jerseys.

8. Talking photo frame

Record personal thank you messages on these, but leave the photo frames empty so your employees can add pictures of their own loved ones.

9. Cleaning service/car wash

Give your employees what they really want: free time. A visit from a cleaner or a free car wash will save them an hour or more that they can use to relax, rest, or do more work.

10. Small plants

Flowers die, but small plants live forever... or at least for a few years. Easy-to-care-for plants make especially nice office gifts because they may remain on your employees' desks, brightening up the workplace.

11. Moleskine notebook

This classic, slightly luxurious notebook is the rare office supply item that your employees will want to receive.

12. Lunch with the boss

Less a business gift than a perk, face-to-face time with you or another higher-up is worth a lot to your employees. If you can, get out of the office and treat them to a nice meal.

13. Lunch tote

Encourage environmentally sound and savings-friendly habits like brown-bagging lunch. By some estimates, bringing lunch from home rather than eating out every day can save more than $1500 a year!

14. Water bottle

Another good habit to enable: drinking more water. (These also make a great corporate gift.)

15. Coaster set

Drink coasters are gifts that can be easily customized with your company's logo or other messaging and design.

Best Corporate Gifts with Logos Under $50

Cookies By Design also offers a tasty way to thank your clients and customers. Send Corporate Logo Tins with your company's logo decorated on the cookies for the perfect corporate gifts!