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Year-end appreciation gifts your employees will truly appreciate

A thank you note on a brown package.

If your small business is like most, it’s been another challenging year for you and your team. So, at the end of the year, it’s natural to want to show your employees how much you appreciate them and their hard work.

But is it possible to express your appreciation in a way that’s not the same old, same old? Absolutely! We’ve got some fun and unique ideas for showing your staff how much you value them and the work they do.

Narrowing it down

First, take a little time to reflect on what you’d like to say with your gift—and how you’d react to receiving it. Is the item you’re considering: 

  1. Practical and useful? Think about how—and whether—the gift will be used, or if it will end up collecting dust on a shelf or in a cupboard (e.g., coffee mugs).

  2. Thoughtfully packaged? Instead of bubble wrap or packing peanuts, creatively packaged items can really elevate the gift experience.

  3. Personalized? It can be a thoughtful touch to personalize each gift with the employee’s name or alma mater.

  4. Reflective of company values? Whether it’s sustainability, reducing your carbon footprint or focusing on a better work-life balance, choose a gift that reinforces your company’s values.

  5. Not a repeat of last year’s gift? If you handed out water bottles the last couple of years, don’t fall back on old patterns. Let yourself get creative!

If you don’t work with your team on a daily basis, try collaborating with a coworker or two who can help you brainstorm and narrow down possible gifts.

Think outside the (gift) box

To spark some inspiration for your brainstorming, here are some fun—and different—ideas for staff gifts.

Subscription selections

Consider a subscription based on your employees’ hobbies or interests. You’ll find something for everyone at multiple price points on these sites.

Health and wellness

While you may already offer an incredible work-life balance, take it a step further by showing your team how much their physical and mental health means to you and your company.

Technology and gadgets

For employees who are into the latest and greatest gadgets, let them choose from a list of technology they’ll love to use in and out of the office.

Let them get picky

If you’re not sure what to choose, come up with a few gift ideas with the same monetary value, and allow your employees to select the gift they’d enjoy. You’ll have options for branding and price points, plus packing and shipping are handled for you.

Whatever you choose, try to include a handwritten note of gratitude (if possible) to express your appreciation and show employees how important they are to you and your company.

Get to giving

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to expressing gratitude to your team. However, don’t let the fear that you need to spend a fortune be one of them. Appreciation doesn’t have to be all about the money if you truly can’t afford to spend a lot. Just be sure you take the time to select a gift that shows you care about your team and their contributions to your business.

Also, remember to keep showing that appreciation throughout the year (especially during busy times!), and you’ll go a long way toward helping your company establish a healthy culture that starts at the top.