14 Employee Thank You Gifts That Can't Miss

Cassy Aite
April 3, 2024
14 Employee Thank You Gifts That Can't Miss

Everyone on your staff plays a vital role in your business's operational — and hopefully — profitable ventures. They show up to work daily, do their best, and provide a valuable service. At best, with your handpicked team, your company flourishes. At worst, you learn together from mistakes that propel the company to future success.

Nevertheless, your team's efforts can’t go unnoticed. Employee Appreciation Day gives you the opportunity to show your gratitude, but a singular occasion throughout the year ignores the individual achievements that occur throughout the year. Beyond a kind word, you need something that speaks volumes. You need to consider employee thank you gifts.

With a thoughtful gift, you boost the confidence and morale of your employees. The perfect gift isn’t always easy to find, but with these employee thank you gift ideas, you can show how much your staff means to you.

What’s the Difference Between Thanks and Appreciation?

Thanks and appreciation — two commonly interchangeable words — are difficult to define in tandem. Add the usage of thanks and appreciation in a working environment, and the separation becomes even more jumbled. However, the distinction between the two is integral to how you view, value, and respect your employees.

In most cases, appreciation is a passive feeling that doesn’t require actual interaction with another person. It’s a cognitive action that takes place over time, creating emotion in your own mind about the contributions of another.

Though closely related to appreciation, thanks is a more outward feeling. It may not stir appreciativeness on a single occasion, but numerous instances of thankfulness can lead to appreciation over time. More importantly, thanks is almost always an outward gesture, whether in the office or elsewhere.

By giving employee thank you gifts, you cultivate the seeds of appreciation in both directions. You acknowledge your team members for their efforts and contributions; they feel valued and respected. Appreciation grows from thanks, a crucial distinction contributing to job satisfaction, employee recognition, a positive work environment, and retention.

14 Employee Thank You Gifts Your Staff Will Love

Woman getting thanked by her manager

Employee thank you gifts are similar to employee appreciation gifts. They should show appreciation and praise through thoughtfulness, relevance, personalization, and usefulness, as well as catering to the needs of either onsite or remote employees.

Rather than think about things that you would like, consider the recipient’s interests when selecting a gift. If need be, reach out to colleagues, coworkers, or managers to find the perfect way to celebrate and thank your employee’s achievements.

1. Lunch Bag or Tote Bag

If usefulness is central to your employee thank you gift, a lunch or tote bag is a savvy option. These thank-you corporate gifts let your staff bring food into the office or go on a shopping spree without having to worry about buying a bag or resorting to single-use plastics. It might even give you a bit of a jump-start toward becoming a more sustainable and eco-friendly organization.

2. Starbucks Gift Cards

Few employees can do their work competently without a jolt of caffeine. Even if they aren’t coffee drinkers, Starbucks has a tasty, caffeine-packed treat for everyone — from hot chocolate to frappes to smoothies. And with 35,000 stores across the country, employees are never too far from some energy.

Starbucks gift cards are perfect for thank yous, but bulk Starbucks gift cards also make excellent Christmas/holiday gifts or staff appreciation gifts for the entire team.

3. Hiking Backpacks

You don’t have to hit the dusty trail to enjoy a great hiking backpack. Companies like Osprey and Cotopaxi offer various high-quality hiking backpacks with innovative features and durability you won’t find in your old Jansport. Throw in a keychain or water bottle with your company logo to complete the hiking theme with a touch of swag.

4. Hammock

Man reading in a hammock

Everyone loves a hammock, but how many people actually have them? We’d venture to say very few. So, if the idea of catching a few z’s in the home office or out back of the house would appeal to your team, hammocks are the perfect employee thank you gifts. Giving the gift of sleep doesn’t seem possible, so you’ll look like the office hero with one of these in tow.

You can opt for the hammock alone, or if you have a larger budget, throw in a stand to avoid complicated installation.

5. Picnic Blankets

Unless you live near Central Park, you don’t see people picnicking like you used to. But maybe —just maybe — it’s because they don’t have the right gear.

A picnic blanket with a soft top and a water-resistant underside is an excellent choice for a day in the park, but also at concerts, sporting events, or the beach. Customize the blanket with your company colors, and you’ll have a work-related employee thank-you gift that people will use regularly. You might even improve employee camaraderie, which in turn, may promote employee engagement.

6. Handcrafted Pen & Pencil Sets

Handcrafted may just seem like another buzzword, but some handcrafted goods just have that extra something. With engraving, different woods or metals, and cases, pen and pencil sets are useful personalized gifts that allow your employees to jot down notes or meditate with their thoughts — something that promotes mental health and well-being.

7. Tech Gifts

Little gadgets and tech goodies surround the modern world, so giving them as employee thank you gifts only makes sense. Some great options include:

  • Earbuds
  • Wireless chargers
  • Self-warming coffee mug
  • Foldable wireless mouse
  • Tracking luggage tag
  • Fitness tracker
  • Smart speaker

Outside of these, anything that provides a workspace upgrade or organization is sure to please.

8. Gift Sets, Gift Baskets, & Gift Boxes

One of the most popular recognition gifts is also one of the top employee thank you gifts: gift sets, gift baskets, and gift boxes. The best part about these gifts is that you can cater them to your employees’ tastes. You don’t have to go the old-school route of fruit or sweets. Check out a few of these ideas:

  • Mindfulness gift boxes with candles, incense, lotions, and oils
  • Coffee and tea boxes (that you can use for virtual coffee chats)
  • Beer and wine gift sets
  • Luxury gift boxes
  • Spreads (jams, jellies, salsas, etc.) baskets

9. Self-Care and Wellness Gifts

Self-care and wellness is a vital part of cohesive teamwork. When your employees feel relaxed mentally and physically, they’re more likely to put their best foot forward. Perfect for saying thank you, as well as recognition program rewards or an employee of the month, these boxes promote the well-being of every employee.

These fully customizable packages allow your staff to employ a you do you mantra. Select from:

  • Gym memberships
  • Spa packages
  • Bath bombs and Epsom salts
  • Manicure/pedicure gift cards
  • Candles
  • Hand/foot lotions with gloves and socks
  • Mental health app subscriptions

11. Plants

Office plants are the gift that keeps on giving. They are proven to boost productivity and creativity while also cleaning the air. Not all of your team members will have a green thumb, so easy-to-care-for options are ideal. Succulents, cacti, English ivy, money trees, aloe vera, and philodendrons all fall under this category.

12. Care Package

Care packages are employee thank you gifts that are similar to self-care and wellness sets, but all in one complete package. Mix a gift basket with wellness, and you’ll have the right idea.

You can offer a variety of goods within these care packages. Some of the best employee appreciation gifts, such as healthy snacks, relaxation kits, board game sets, self-help boxes, travel kits, and more, would fall under this category.

13. Small Bonus

One common complaint about employee and corporate gifting is that recipients receive too much swag. According to one study, around 40% of swag ends up in a landfill. That’s not a great look for your company or use of your time and money.

Instead of mulling over the perfect gift idea, a small bonus might be the better option. While cash has often been looked upon as impersonal, it’s a better option than landfill fodder. Offering a small bonus, a stipend or food allowance increase, or a Visa- or MasterCard-branded e-gift card is sure to please your employees.

14. Drinkware

Drinkware is often a staple of Employee Appreciation Day gifts, but it is also a winner in the employee thank you gift realm. From coffee mugs to wine tumblers to stainless steel water bottles, you can keep your employees caffeinated, relaxed, or hydrated without any single-use plastics going into a landfill.

Keep Employee Thank You Gifts on Tap With Hoppier

As your company grows, your staff does as well. Ideally, every employee thank you gift would be a thoughtful one. But time and money — especially during large projects and expansions — are often at a premium. As a result, scalability is crucial to maintaining a company culture of gift-giving and celebrations for work anniversaries, milestones, and hard work while staying within your budget.

Thankfully, Hoppier answers the question of scalability for the budget-minded with customizable bulk virtual gift cards. Choose the amount and expiration date, and choose your vendors — or leave the gift idea open to choice. Then, send a thoughtful message to accompany the employee thank you gift card. Plus, any remaining balance left on the card after expiration gets sent right back to you.

Sometimes, the best employee thank you gifts are the ones they choose themselves.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


Easily send food or gifts to employees at scale in minutes!

Learn More
Start sending lunches, gifts, and more to your employees and clients in 60+ countries!

Related content

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today


Our team will support you, to make your programs a success

Amazing customer service

Average 4 minute response times

International coverage