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The Best Employee Year End Gifts

Execute a Successful Year End Company Celebration with Gifts & Rewards

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, many employers are already turning their attention to the parties they'll throw and the employee holiday gifts they'll give out during the season. These efforts help to show the company's appreciation for a whole year's worth of hard work, and to celebrate everything their employees bring to the table at this special time of year. However, companies would also be wise to avoid falling into the pitfalls of giving gifts that could be seen as cliche, or given without much thought about the individual. For that reason, taking a less conventional route and doing more to consider what gifts are going to be seen as truly valuable will go a long way toward wowing workers with unique gifts at the end of the year.

Get an understanding of what your employees will appreciate

When attempting to put together a good strategy for picking out unique employee gifts for the end of the year, companies have a lot to consider. Have their gifts been popular in the past? Do they do enough to show employees how much they're appreciated? Do some workers deserve better gifts than others based on their positions in the company (i.e. should an entry-level worker receive the same thank-you present as a manager)? The problem when making these calls is that everyone is different. While companies may choose to give out bottles of mid-priced wine, there are always going to be employees who simply don't care for wine. And if businesses decide to pass out gift cards for local restaurants or grocery stores, some people may see that as impersonal. As a result, It's not always easy to closely investigate what was popular, especially because when decision-makers ask whether employees liked their gifts, they might not always get an honest answer. However, a little bit of covert investigation with trusted workers could go a long way toward giving companies a genuine understanding of what gifts are going to be popular. Certainly, changing things up every year — so employees aren't just getting the same gift cards or fruit baskets — is a smart idea.

The people making the gift buying decisions for a company have a lot of factors to consider beyond whether past choices were popular. Most are likely to have limited budgets that, based on the size or demographic makeup of their teams, dictate what gifts are affordable. Considering other issues, such as whether a team is outgoing and cooperative or if their work is more siloed off, could help inform those gift-giving decisions. Generally speaking, though, it's a good idea to get as creative as possible. For instance, Small Business Trends points out that more companies are starting to give employees gifts that they can keep on their desks or bring home so that they have something nice to remind them of the company for many months to come — think small customizable candles. This type of gift can accompany more common end-of-year rewards like gift cards or snacks. Including a note about how it's symbolic of the ever-growing relationship between the company and employee can likewise help people feel as though they're more appreciated.

Personal Touch: Personalized Employee Gifts Mean More

When buying gifts for small teams, plenty of thought can be put into deeply individualized gifts that truly make people feel seen and appreciated. Decision-makers can single out good gift ideas for individual employees, but at a certain point that stops making sense in terms of the time and effort required to coordinate everything. For companies where that just isn't an option, however, there are still plenty of personalization options that can be done in bulk. Getting employees' names on company-branded mugs, clothing and other items is relatively easy to pull off and can be done in just about any quantity, given enough lead time. Businesses that settle on this route sooner than later are likely to have plenty of options for personalized gifts and customizable items. People are often quite likely to respond positively to something that has their name on it, even if others receive the same gift. It might also be smart for companies to provide a little extra autonomy to workers when giving out those customizable gifts. For instance, when companies give out personalized coffee mugs, giving workers the opportunity to choose coffee flavors for the break room — not just the same old stuff they get all year — can be a great way to make people feel like they're really being heard. Likewise, if a business gives out branded windbreakers, letting workers plan an office trip to an outdoor space once spring rolls around may give them a little extra reason to show off that new gear.

Appreciation Gifts for Remote Employees

While a lot of gift ideas are great for employees who come into the office every day, companies that increasingly rely on remote employees or allow people to work from home with some frequency face their own challenges. The people who don't come into the office much, if ever, could be a little harder for decision-makers to figure out, and they won't get the benefits of gifts given specifically for the office setting, like upgrades and perks in the break room. Instead, it might be wise for businesses to make sure they're recognizing those remote employees with gifts of their own. To that end, tech-related accessories that will make their lives easier — such as customized phone-charging power banks or Bluetooth speakers — will likely help keep companies' generosity front of mind for those workers even when they're not coming into the office every day. This is also true of desktop sculptures, clocks and similar customizable items that can be placed in work-from-home employees' favorite parts of their home offices, all of which helps make a remote working spaces feel a little more professional.

End of Year Employee Awards and Ceremonies

This is also a time of year when many companies give out annual year-end awards and bonuses based on performance, and this takes planning and execution. While it's always a good idea to recognize workers for going above and beyond, it's also important to make sure the gifts they give out aren't going to be particularly lavish in comparison with what other employees get. That is why it's best to award performance with a trophy. To that end, striking the right balance between an appreciative "thank you" gift and awards for the best workers is important. Companies that set up clearly defined rules now, well in advance of the end of the year, may be able to head off any potential issues. Moreover, it can be a good idea for companies to establish awards employees can nominate their co-workers for — meaning they'll not only get recognition and a nice gift, but will also receive the satisfaction of knowing that it came because someone they work with every day considered them worthy of an award.

Customer Favorite Employee Gifts

Updated Wednesday 09-28-2022
Eco-Friendly 2-ply Face Mask Full Color Custom
from Patricia Grigsby of Sterling, VA

Eco-Friendly 2-ply Face Mask Full Color Custom

Good color rendition from logo file
These masks are comfortable and attractive. It would be neat to add a flex strip at the top to conform better to the nose. The turnaround and service on our order changes was excellent.

Teamwork Rowers Chrome Pen
from Sandy of Tampa, FL

Teamwork Rowers Chrome Pen

My team LOVED this pen!!
This was a perfect gift for my team. Looks good, nice team message and writes well!!

Thanks for All You Do Chocolate Candy Tube
from Phyllis Joyner Riley of Martinsville, IN

Thanks for All You Do Chocolate Candy Tube

Great for on the spot recognition!
I use these for quality and incentive rewards. Usually on the spot appreciation for a great call or for making suggestions that help with effective interactions with customers or tam members.

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