Looking for some awesome employee appreciation gifts for your small business staff?
You know you could always go with cheesy printed frisbees, t-shirts, or beverage koozies. Those are okay gifts for your employees, but hardly awesome.
If you’re looking for something super-duper cheap, well, it’d be better to just not. Water bottles printed in mass quantities with the company logo don’t really scream, “I appreciate and admire your hard work, creativity, and ingenuity.” Rather, those gift options say the exact opposite.
But as a small business owner, you have more sense than that. You’re looking for next-level stuff — useful and meaningful gifts that your team members will actually use and appreciate. We’ve got you covered.
Here are 21 of the best employee gifts for your small business.
What Makes a Good Employee Gift?
Honestly, one of the best small business gift ideas for employees is just cash. And it’s usually preferred. After all, they don’t come in to work each day just for fun. Ultimately, they have the job because they need income.
You could certainly give a nice cash bonus, or maybe paid time off. Bear in mind, though, that cash is still taxable, as are any gift cards or gift certificates. Plus, if you’re like many employers you already provide annual or year-end bonuses.
No, you’re here because you want to add a special touch. You want to let you employees know that they’re appreciated and valued.
So, what constitutes good gifts for office staff?
- Quality. Don’t give your employees junk. Just don’t.
- Creativity. Everyone does t-shirt and those cheap promotional things like frisbees and drink cozies. Go the next level with something genuinely creative.
- Personalization. Something with their name on it shows that you put time, effort, and your personal imprint on the gift.
- Value. You want to give them something nice (otherwise they’ll just toss it and think of you as a cheapskate) but not too nice (if they’re not into that particular thing they’ll wish you had just given cash).
How much should you spend on employee gifts?
To make sure that it’s a good gift, we advise $20-100 per employee. Of course you can go higher, too. $50 is a nice middle ground, while $20-30 fits into most small business budgets.
Talk to your accountant, but last we checked the amount you can deduct for employee gifts as a business expense is $25 per employee.
Check out our gift budget guide for more information.
When should you give employees a gift?
There are many occasions you can give best employee gifts:
- Employee Appreciation Day (first Friday in March)
- Annually to commemorate years of service
- Employee of the month/year
- Holidays, especially during December (Christmas/New Year’s)
- Individual promotions
- Company milestones
- Company promo
- Top sales awards
Most commonly, employers give out thank-you gifts to employees at the end of the year, around the holidays. A close second is Employee Appreciation Day, or the anniversary of the company’s founding.
Other options typically involve personal achievements (retirement, 20 years of service, etc) or to commemorate the end of a busy season (after tax season for an accounting firm, at the end of summer for a tourism company, etc).
Click here to see every holiday you can give gifts.
21 Awesome Employee Gift Ideas
Alrighty, without further ado, here are our top picks of small business gift ideas for employees. We’re sure that they’d be delighted by any one of these great items.
1. Personalized Tumblers
Make it as funny or as true as you like! These custom engraved vacuumed sealed tumblers will not go unappreciated by your employee(s). In fact, the others might get jealous, so stock up.
Forget those cheap plastic cups with the company logo slapped on them, and opt for these quality, personalized tumblers instead as a thoughtful gift they can use for years to come.
2. Personalized Bird Feeder
If you know your employee loves to be outdoors and in nature, then this is the gift that literally keeps on giving!
This craftsman made and custom engraved bird feeder will be their new favorite possession, and they’ll think of you every time they see that robin redbreast (or let’s face it, that squirrel).
3. Rocketbook Digital Reusable Notebook
No matter what type of office or small business you run, whether your employees work on-site or are remote workers, giving them these awesome Rocketbooks as employee appreciation gifts or Christmas gifts would be a great way to show your gratitude to the entire team.
I personally own one of these innovative little tech gadgets, and I can tell you it is one of the the best gifts I’ve received in the last five years.
This notebook to replace all notebooks fits easily in even a small bag or desk drawer, and is an excellent way to both organize and economize. Endlessly reusable, and so very very smart.
4. Handcrafted Wooden Bottle Openers
This gorgeous, personalized walnut and maple wood bottle opener makes a one of a kind perfect gift!
And that’s even before you custom engrave it with the personalization of your choosing.They’re going to love this!
Related article: 11 Retirement Gifts for Coworkers
5. Custom Portraits
Do you really want to go all out this year? Maybe they’re retiring or one of your employees are getting married. Whatever the special occasion may be, allow one of these
custom Portraits to wow them. They’ll be stunned with a high-quality, original fine art portrait, and know how much you care.
6. Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Let’s face it. Sometimes the office can get loud. Like, really loud depending on the crowd. Give the gift of focus with these practical noise-canceling headphones.
Giving high-quality gifts like these that can be used during work or play always leave a lasting impression and are just an all round great idea no matter the occasion.
7. Old Fashioned Custom Engraved Pocket Knife
Classy, antique style meets rugged functionality.
Consider having your logo or branding on one side, and the employee’s name on the other. Customize yours here.
8. Board Games for the Break Room
Perfect for the break room, an easy and entertaining board game is a fun way to boost morale and relieve stress that may arise during the busy seasons.
Herd Mentality is just one of hilarious options of games that are easy to pick up and range anywhere from 4-20 players.
9. Custom Engraved Cutting Board
Perfect for when you have several employees you need to give gifts for, but don’t want to find yourself reaching for yet another gift certificate for sushi.
Make it personal with this custom engraved bamboo cutting board!
10. Custom Wireless Charger
Add a personal touch to an already great gift idea!
These custom wireless chargers will come in handy at home or the office, and will ensure that battery never dips into the red (no matter how many true crime podcast episodes they stream during work.)
11. Custom Bobble Head
I mean, come on! You know you’ve really arrived when you’re a bobble head! They’re going to laugh and then cherish this custom designed bobble head that looks just like them.
12. Laser Engraved Corkscrew Bottle Opener
Premium quality (just like your employee’s performance), rock-bottom price, AND it includes custom engraving along with four wine/beer/jar opening tools. Customize yours here.
Oh yeah, and bulk discounts too. So, order one for each employee and save!
13. Use Up That Vacation Time!
Everyone needs a vacation at some point. Inspire them with that trip they’ve been dreaming about for years!
From Tinggly, these ‘experience gift packages’ are affordable yet fun, with hundreds of options.
Here’s how it works:
- You purchase a gift package, which is essentially a gift card for the experience of their choice
- Prices range from (give or take) under a hundred bucks up to about $300
- They redeem for whatever adventure they choose, which could be rock climbing at a nearby gym, a wine tour within easy road trip distance or snorkeling in Hawaii/Mexico/Florida Keys (they’d just need to get themselves there)
14. Personalized Wine Glasses
A set of these personalized wine glasses will fit the bill nicely as Christmas gifts for office staff!
Chunky but still chic, they’re timeless and elegant, not to mention practical and useful.
15. Personalized Leather Portfolios
Help them say goodbye to all of those worn out tote bags where everything gets messy and disorganized, and give these as personalized, unique gifts.
Super high-quality with pouches and slots for all of their office essentials, this even doubles as a laptop sleeve! Way better than a coffee mug if you ask us.
16. Designer Fire Extinguisher
Is safety a top priority in your company? A uniquely designed fire extinguisher to keep your employees even more safe in a style they will love is the perfect choice.
These decorative extinguishers are both practical and trendy. Your employees will be proud to display them in their home, kitchen, or garage!
17. Personalized “Thank You” Necklace
Anyone can gift a thank-you card, and they typically go straight in the trash. Give her instead this personalized thank-you necklace.
We promise it won’t end up forgotten in the garbage!
18. Employee Appreciation Gift Box
Everyone is different — if this relaxing gift box isn’t their type here are more to choose from!
But honestly, who wouldn’t enjoy one of these awesome hygge boxes. Filled with comfort in the form of a snuggly throw blanket, a soothing candle, a journal for processing thoughts, and much more, these cozy boxes make the perfect holiday gifts for just about anyone.
19. Silly “Because My Boss” Personalized Wine Glass
You might as well admit, you might be one of the reasons she needs a glass of wine at the end of a long workday!
She’ll appreciate the gesture and the knowledge that you know exactly how demanding you can be (maybe throw in a bottle as well).
20. Tabletop Cornhole
What a good idea! Bring a little levity to the main office with this entertaining, tabletop cornhole game.
What better way to make sure your employees establish healthy habits (like taking ample brain breaks), than with a great distraction like this.
21. Mini Desktop Coffee Maker
One of the best employee gifts, if you ask me. I mean, your own personal coffee maker? At your desk? Courtesy of your boss? There’s no losing.
More Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas
Here are some more fun ideas that every employee will be sure to love.
- Sports tickets to local pro or semi-pro team
- Fine dining gift certificates
- Tickets/gift card to a local brewery/pub/vineyard
- A stay at a Bed & Breakfast
- Rent out the bowling alley for a night of employee fun
- A gift certificate to a Wreck It Room, an Escape Room, or an Axe Throwing Room (yep, these are all real!)
- A night out taking a culinary class from a master chef
- Vintage books in the genre they love best
- A class for something they’ve mentioned being interested in (pottery, baking, sushi making, wine tasting)
- The chef’s table at a fine restaurant
- A day riding horses on a trail ride
- Fishing poles and lures (or maybe a fly-tying class)
- A scary walk-through at a haunted house
- Tickets to the local community theater
- Tickets to a coming concert or touring Broadway play
- And don’t forget the timeless and always very well-received, classic gift of… an extra week of PTO!
Check out our master list of thank-you gifts here.