Employee gifts can boost morale and productivity, and they can increase employee loyalty and job satisfaction. Not to mention, it’s a nice thing to do and feels good to do it! But coming up with gift ideas for employees isn’t always easy. With the holidays fast approaching, here are seven unique gift ideas that employees will love!
1. Prepaid Gift Cards
Want to give the gift of movie tickets, or dinner, or coffee, but don’t know which one to choose, or which brand/location your employees prefer? Gift cards have long been a staple of gift-giving, especially during the holidays. These days, with so many options, they can actually be pretty limiting.
One solution is to give the gift of a prepaid gift card. If you don’t know what a given employee’s home office needs are, or what their go-to snack food is, don’t fret. Prepaid cards are accepted at countless retailers, restaurants, with some redeemable all over the world. You don’t have to be worried that you’ve given an employee a gift card to a restaurant they don’t frequent, or a store that’s out of their way, or to a coffee place they don’t like, etc.
Prepaid cards can also be personalized, and serve as a physical token of the gift, unlike cash which isn’t very memorable and doesn’t demonstrate any forethought. You can find several designs to choose from with Awards2Go or customize your employee gift cards with your own design.
2. Low Maintenance Plants
Everyone loves a little bit of green in their lives, but not everyone has a green thumb — far from it. I’m sure we all know someone who has killed a plant, or two, or seven. It’s not always easy to keep up with different watering schedules, and if you go on a longer trip, that’s curtains for your caladium, and you can say “bye-bye” to your Boston fern. But there are several plant varieties that aren’t so high maintenance.
Low maintenance plants like succulents are a great way to brighten a room, a desk, or a home office, and they’re certain to brighten the day of any employee who receives one. The best part? Besides the healthy amount of sun needed for some varieties, they’re incredibly versatile and require minimal effort. Most of them need to be watered closer to monthly, rather than daily or even weekly. As an added bonus, your employee will remember your kind gesture every time they look up and admire their plant-baby.
3. Home Office Essentials
As more and more work is being done from home, even by those who weren’t necessarily planning on jumping into that workstyle, home office essentials are quickly becoming a hot-ticket item. From coffee warmers to footrests to ergonomic laptop stands, a gift that makes working from home easier and more comfortable can make all of the difference. One great part about this idea is that it can stretch to fit any budget. As much as you might want to, it just isn’t always feasible to get every one of your employees an ergonomic chair, for example, but an ergonomic mouse might be more reasonable. Or go for keyboard armrests or a wireless charging stand. This gift idea is really several ideas in one. If you really want to go the extra mile, try catering the home office essential to each recipient. One employee might prefer a trendy new desk lamp, while the employee who always talks about being cold might prefer the portable space heater. Whichever direction you decide to go, you’ll be making your work-from-home employees’ lives so much easier. Most of these ideas can also apply to traditional coworker spaces as well, and if your employees are returning to in-person work, they can take their gift in with them!
4. Snack Box
A custom snack box is a great way to satisfy the urge to snack for your hardworking employees. One great aspect of snack boxes is that they are available in countless varieties, from gluten-free to vegan, from classic snacks to snacks from abroad. Snack subscriptions are also an option for a gift that keeps on giving. Or, if you have enough time, consider putting together your own snack boxes and customizing them based on the favorite snacks of your staff. After all, your most health-conscious employee is going to have different snacking desires than others, and allergies and dietary restrictions might not be easy to work around when going the prepackaged route. That said, the sheer amount of snack boxes and snack subscriptions available mean that you’ll likely be able to satisfy all of your employees’ snacking needs.
5. Destressing Kit
If you want to throw a kit together yourself, a destressing kit is a great option. Not only will this give you a chance to get creative, but it will also come as a much-appreciated gift to employees. Let’s face it, these days, everyone could use a little bit of relaxing and destressing, especially hardworking employees. From bath bombs and aromatherapy products to adult coloring books and stress cubes/balls, the options are endless. Once again, catering these kits to each individual employee can truly demonstrate that you’re willing to go the extra mile to reward your employees.
One employee may enjoy herbal teas and massage oils in their stress-relief kit, while another prefers dark chocolate and a candle with a relaxing scent. There’s, of course, no shortage of products for bath-lovers, from salts, to soaps, to oils, and those employees who are more into affirmation and mindfulness might enjoy a good book or a daily journal in their kits.
Of course, sometimes our aspirations for gifting regrettably exceed the time we have available. If you don’t have time to put a kit together yourself, don’t sweat it, prepackaged destressing kits are a great option, and can come fully loaded with a variety of relaxing products your employees will love!
6. Wax Melter/Oil Diffuser
Scent isn’t just a room-transformer, it’s a game-changer. The right scent can make anyone happy to spend any amount of time in a given room. Whether you’re gifting with the home office in mind, or just want to make it easier for your employees to unwind at home, a wax melter or oil diffuser is a great idea.
Wax melters are essentially flameless alternatives to candles. They still rely on scented wax, but without worrying about an open flame or smoke. Scented wax also tends to last longer when melted rather than burned. With a wax melter, you no longer have to burn through countless candles to keep your home, home office, or whatever room you desire, smelling like fresh pumpkin pie, warm apple cider donuts, or fresh lavender.
Oil diffusers, likewise, can bring a variety of scents into a home without the need for an open flame. Instead, diffusers rely on water vapor to disperse a chosen scent. As such, they’re also a great option for climates or seasons with low humidity. Furthermore, fragrance oils and, especially, essential oils, have seen an explosion in recent years. In other words, if there’s a scent you want, chances are, there’s an oil for it.
In both cases, use and maintenance are simple and straightforward. As a bonus tip, if you’re looking to customize these gifts you can include a starter selection of scented waxes or oils catered to each employee’s tastes.
7. Camping Hammock
These days we’re all pretty sick of the indoors. With the weather getting milder after a hot summer, hiking and camping are becoming popular options to get out of the house while still avoiding the risk of social contact. One of the most versatile pieces of the camping/hiking kit is the simple portable hammock. No messing around with complicated poles or instructions, and no lugging around heavy equipment that makes a stroll through nature feel more like a chore. Camping hammocks are lightweight, take up a minimal amount of space, and are as easy as finding a pair of adequately spaced trees and hitching a hammock to them. They’re great for getting cozy when it’s cool out or chilling out when it’s hot. They also tend to be relatively affordable, even for ones that are of pretty good quality. A perfect gift for any outdoorsy employees, or for any employee these days who might be suffering from cabin fever .
By Jessica Leslie