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The Best Employee Gift Ideas to Boost Morale in 2021

Why Give Gifts to Employees?

Everyone loves gifts. Your employees are no exception. In fact, employee gifts can help boost morale. They’re more than just goodies and gizmos; they’re thoughtful ways to express gratitude and make employees feel valued.

In a national employee happiness survey, it was revealed that 45% of employees believe their value at a company is reflected by the gifts they are given. But, more than 1/3 of people have never received a gift from a supervisor. What’s more, almost 70% of employees would prefer to have a say in the corporate gift they receive. (Meaning they don’t want cheap gifts just for the sake of it).

Offering a gift of appreciation to your team to celebrate a holiday, a work anniversary, or even a career milestone would provide them with the sentiment that they are valued in the company or organization.

Employee Appreciation Day

If you’re feeling guilty for skimping on the staff gift-giving, don’t worry! Employee Appreciation Day is the first Friday of March – March 5th for 2021. Make the most of this day by showing your employees how much you appreciate their hard work through the whirlwind that was 2020.

Of course, you can show employee appreciation any day of the year that works for you and your company or organization. For when those days come along, we’ve put together a list of ideas to inspire you.

1. Home Office Essentials

Odds are your employees had to adjust to communicating digitally via computer screens and Zoom calls from their make-shift offices this past year. Safe to say, they could probably use some gifts to liven up their WFH spaces.

  • Ideas: Succulents, candles, personalized office supplies, wall clock 
  • Why employees will love it: Any of these gifts will help create the perfect WFH set-up. Plus, everyone loves a good office plant and scented candle.
Assorted Succulents
Scented Soy Candle
Scented Soy Candle

2. Self-Care Items

Self-care became a huge priority for many in 2020. Gift your employees something that communicates you care about their well-being – it won’t go unnoticed.

  • Ideas: Sleep masks, skin care, beauty items, lotion, essential oils
  • Why employees will love it: There’s nothing quite like pampering yourself – especially when the pampering is free.
Aromatherapy Eye Mask
Aromatherapy Sleep Mask
Burt's Bees Kit
Essential Burt’s Bees Kit

3. Fun Tech

Mix function and fun with innovative tech gifts. You can choose from a variety of super functional to aesthetically-pleasing pieces that enhance office spaces or add to a room.

  • Ideas: Wireless speaker, wireless phone charger, digital wall clock
  • Why employees will love it: Technology makes our lives easier. Adding an element of fun and beauty can turn a useful piece of tech into a thoughtful gift your employees will love.
Wireless speaker with a wireless charger
Mahogany Wireless Speaker with Wireless Charger

4. Comfort Items

If you’re like me, comfort is the key to happiness. Well, maybe not so much, but I do love a plush blanket and some fuzzy socks. Especially when it’s the dead of winter. Plus, you can personalize any of these items for your team to feel extra special.

  • Ideas: Fuzzy socks, plush blanket, scarf, beanie hat, gloves, sweatshirts
  • Why your employees will love it: A free cozy blanket. Need I say more?
Fuzzy socks
Fuzzy Crew Socks
Plush blankets
Fairmont Mink Touch Blanket

5. (Virtual) Happy Hour Cocktail Kit

Think of this as a 2021 version of treating your employees to a drink or hosting a Happy Hour after a long week. With a virtual cocktail kit or a booze box, your employees can fix themselves a cocktail for Zoom happy hour with the team. Or, they can enjoy it alone.

  • Ideas: Virtual Happy Hour Cocktail Kits (assorted), Booze Box, Personalized Wine Glasses, Clever Koozie
  • Why your employees will love it: It’s a free drink. And they’ll get to pretend to be their own bartender!
Virtual Happy Hour Cocktail Kit
Happy Hour Cocktail Kit

6. Assorted Gift Box

Who says you can only do one gift idea? Put together an assorted box of select goodies to give your staff. 

For the holidays, Mosaic Pediatric Therapy put together a gift box for their employees that included Burt’s Bees Hand Cream and lip balm, a scented candle, shower steamer, stones, a scarf, and a company mug. We packaged them up, added some personality with stickers and holiday cards, and shipped them off. Each employee received a gift box on their front door step as a sweet holiday treat from their employer. And they LOVED it!

Gift boxes made for employees of Mosaic Pediatric Therapy
South City Print’s Fulfillment for Mosaic Pediatric Therapy’s Employee Gift Order

Personalization Goes A Long Way

If you’re looking to single-out a few top performing employees or spoil your team, personalized gifts are the way to go. To make the most of your gifts, try to steer clear from the overused company-centric promotional items. Company swag is a gimme. For extra TLC, personalize gifts with names, favorite colors or phrases, or other preferences.

For more inspo, head to our promo products site to browse thousands of gifts and customizable products.

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