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Top Five Employee Recognition Gifts

Updated on October 5, 2013

People are your business - appropriate employee gifts let them know you care

How we treat our employees influences how they treat our customers.

Keeping good employees with good morale means we get to keep customers coming back for more product. That is a lot cheaper than finding new customers, and new employees.

It starts with people.

The Fifth Best Company Gift

The Recognition Gift Count Down Begins

Select a gift that keeps on giving and keeps reminding giftees of your business.

Our number five choice for a meaningful company gift is an gift card. You will make an impression on the recipient when giving, when they consider all the options, when they are ordering, upon receipt, and when used.

That is a lot of good memories that include you. Unlike frozen turkeys, gift certificates are easy to handle. Give them out in person with a personally selected and signed thank you card.

Pictured is what I would value as an employee gift, but I already have a Keurig single cup coffee brewer -- I would use a gift certificate to buy more Emeril's Big Easy Bold k-cups for my favorite, wake me up, k-cup coffee -- BAM! That's personalized giving that won't feel bureaucratic and uncaring. The whole idea of gift certificates is to let your company gift recipient get what they want, not what you can buy in bulk at a cheap price.

Amazon has great prices and selection, let that be part of your gift. I lift this steaming cup from the Big Easy, to you, as a salute.

Procure a sizable quantity of Amazon gift cards. Better yet, buy a box of cards; and when you catch an employee doing something right, the reward is at hand. Give gift cards or gift certificates to reinforce that pat on the back.

Employee gifts are not just for the holidays. Amazon gift cards can also be an important part of rapid recognition for exceptional employees. Recognition that will be remembered with a smile.

Your customers need those smiles.

The Fourth Best Corporate Gift

Make them proud to wear it

Reward your crew with the recognition they deserve. A few celebrations ago we gave BFU brag rags, folks still wear them and share comments they receive. It's nice to have your associates smile when they think of your combined mission.

One of our early supporters was given a stein printed with the saying on that baseball-T. He keeps it on his working desk at home. A brilliant entrepreneur, he never finished college as a youth - but he says he loves showing off his award, and it's a favorite with his grandkids.

If your company only hires one of ten they interview, or one of fifty from which they receive resumes - let your employees know.

If your corporate gift is used daily that is good, and if it appears personally appropriate - it shows you care.

"To one of the select few" would be a great label or engraving on that something useful and special.

Have your gifts engraved - or give a custom engraving certificate with each one.

It is time to rethink the gold watch at retirement idea. Why give them a watch when their hope is never to look at one again?

Considering the cost of hiring and training a replacement; a good investment in your current employees might be to give them a gold watch this year. Give them a certificate to have it engraved however they want.

The watches below are just tempting suggestions, click on one to get a look at a much larger selection.

For retirement give a ceremonial hammer to pound a cheap watch into dust

The Third Best Corporate Gift

up to date, and constantly available

Your gift communicates the value of exceeding client expectations.

It takes hard work and persistence to develop an innovative idea. It takes even more work to create an innovative product that is easy for clients to understand and use.

An iPod can be a tangible representation of your company's increasingly client-centric attitude.

If an employee already has an iPod, your gift is likely to be an upgrade. Even if they give it away, each time they see one in use they will think of your gift.

And how much you appreciate them.

Small but constantly in use - Innovative and socially attractive, with simplicity of design

Two, one stop ideas.

1) Try a gift of books from eBook distributor Smashwords. Your employees will receive an email that directs them to the book page where downloads can be made to smartphones, tablets, computers, and other platforms. With a quarter of a million books there is no scarcity of choice.

ie: LTTN is the first ot the Daily Thought Provoker books on Smashwords. Click that gifting button to start.

2) We all want customers to rave about our company the way they rave over Apple's products.

Show & tell your employees this is how you want to liberate your business; free to create and improvise, free to discover and exploit new markets.

Everyone wants next year to be a year of elegant solutions.

Apple iPod shuffle 2GB Blue (4th Generation)
Apple iPod shuffle 2GB Blue (4th Generation)

Very cool; just like your employees and your business.


The Next To Best Company Gift

Create great memories

Let your executives tell you who has the best limousine company.

Provide an award certificate to every honored employee, and include a certificate for a three or four hour jaunt in a limo whenever and to wherever they want.

If this works out well, consider buying a limo when new models come out. Buy after a major style change and your limousine will look new for many years. Consider letting any employee book the limo occasionally; that will add some employee satisfaction.

You can also create special events using the limousine in conjunction with a ball game, show, or concert as an award or prize. For most of your employees this will be something they will talk about for a very long time.

"streeetch" your budget a bit further and toss in a gift certificate to a swank restaurant, or a debit card they can use as they wish.

Bon Appetite

The suspense

Ah the pleasures of anticipation as we wait for the best ever ...

"Will you get on with it?"

Okay -- here it is folks

(drum roll please) ...

The Number One Employee Gift - just a simple bag

Launch a pleasant surprise.

This is a nice carry on bag, no more. Okay, it does expand to allow the carrying back of souvenirs, but no more.

What's that, an envelope is inside?

Use your own sense of drama, a bag at the front of the room, an occasional mention, keep it building.

In the end either the winners of employee recognition, or everyone at an annual company party, gets a quality piece of luggage, and perhaps a gift certificate for travel.

To really excite your crew, tie the gift to this years success, and tell them it will be topped next year if the growth continues.

Then tell them they have an extra 2 days of paid, mandatory vacation for the holidays.

They do have a life outside your company - let them rediscover it.

Your company will be rewarded.

PT Pulp Fiction; download a new Sparrow Swift twice a month.
PT Pulp Fiction; download a new Sparrow Swift twice a month.

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100% of direct income from my lenses goes to micro-finance solutions for world poverty provided by the Grameen Foundation. The Grameen Foundation is creating a rising tide of positive influence upon our world.

Will YOUR life be based on what you want to use it to accomplish, or by random urges of what you want to do?

"We hear fables about the past, we develop dreams of the future, but the work needs to be done today." - Allan R. Wallace

Are you giving because it is expected, to set yourself apart, to recognize superior employee performance, or perhaps to build loyalty?

Maybe you just enjoy sharing and now is as good a time as any.

To all your good reasons we will add one more - to get repeat impressions on those that will directly influence your business success.

A great gift will be noticed more than once.

What great employee recognition gift ideas have you received, used, or do you plan to use?

Do you have a better employee gift idea? - What is the goal of your business gifts?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      An anonymous gift for a great boss or manager gvies them the reinforcement they need to keep up a job well done... and serves to keep the accounts and repeat business coming.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I would hope that with all of the options we had in today's environment, the e-card or gift cards would make the top 5 or even 10 list. We have found our clients using the gift cards and e-cards to have great success. Employees love to select their own gift with 'reward money.'

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      There is a website dedicated to managing employee rewards called Ever Extra. Check out

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I certainly would be thrilled to receive any of your gift ideas...and I love your heart behind the giving....blessed!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great ways to keep the employees motivated! Every once in a while it is nice to get some surprise gifts!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      enjoyed reading these tonight, always like finding your lens, great material you put into your work, see ya around!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      7 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Creating great memories is such a good idea for employee recognition. All business owners, Human Resources Mgrs. or heads of Personnel should read this lens. :) Loyal and happy employees are priceless.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I worked at a company that was able to get a great deal on 50" inch tv's (for $600.00 each) and each employee, all fifty of them got one for year end. They were in tears when they saw all the tvs lined up with big read bows. It was amazing and I will never forget that.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Keeping employee moral up is an overlooked part of many business. Every company should keep up on how employees feel about working there, we make it easy! NBRI

    • greenwich lm profile image

      greenwich lm 

      7 years ago

      Nice list you could also use a pocket watch for employee gifts this would also keep an ever lasting impression.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens.Thanks for sharing. strategic planning software

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Daily useful articles bring satisfaction to the employees. But some employers are only satisfied with the profit rather than sharing them.

    • trezpazz profile image


      8 years ago

      Watches appeal to all irrespective of personal tastes and have an enduring quality about them.

      I just love exquiste watches!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I take special and strong interest in watches. A man should possess a fine watch when he starting to work. It's a kinda identity and status, my thought only.

    • ZablonMukuba profile image


      8 years ago

      thanks for this, now i know what i will be getting my employees

    • jctatum profile image


      8 years ago

      Great ideas!I do all of the purchasing for my company's employee gifts. This lens is a good resource for me!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Often companies will give frozen turkeys to their employees. offers this only better. They offer certificates that are redeemable at almost any supermarket for any brand of turkey. This allows employees to get something they need, when and where they want.

    • CCGAL profile image


      9 years ago

      I can't recall any memorable gifts from companies I've worked for, save one, which was odd but wonderful. About 7 or 8 years ago I worked as a temp, and one assignment was a receptionist position. I offered to do some extra work while there, honestly because I was bored, and ended up noticing an error (duplicate pages and a section missing) in a big report I was making copies of. Long story short, they offered me a full time job which I declined (I was only wanting part time work) and when I left the assignment, they gave me what I've always called my "lovely parting gifts" - an umbrella, a mug, a keychain, and a cool insulated lunch bag all with the company logo. They were so nice to me, I almost hated to leave them.

      I really enjoyed this lens, by the way - 5* and I've joined your fan club.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Now that I work for myself, I get pretty crummy gifts from my boss. :) But back when I had my last "real" job, my boss used to give me lots of clothing at Christmas ... none of which I ever really liked. Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to get that message across, even when I asked where the stuff came from so I could make some exchanges ... every year. On the plus side, though, there was always a nice little, padded envelope in one of the pockets. THAT gift I loved!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens - wish I had thought of it!

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Very good suggestions. Although I even think the old traditional holiday turkey or ham is appreciated by many. It's the way that it's given that counts.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      My husband got a paid day off because he had perfect attendance. That was a nice reward!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We always got food gift certificates which we pooled for big buying power. Hubby did though get his special wristwatch for 20 years of service. Too bad the company shut down before the 25th year.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      9 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Great lens, great idea!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      9 years ago

      One of the best gifts we got was a $15 gift certificate at a local grocery store for not missing any days. I think these were given out monthly. It doesn't sound like a lot now but it really meant a lot with two in diapers at the time. I still remember it all these years later.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Sometimes the best recognition isn't a short lived set of tickets or cash which is spent and forgotten, but something personalized and heartfelt, more like the wristwatch example mentioned above. The more thought that goes into it to make it uniquely appropriate for the person, the better and the longer it'll last. Even a special card with a picture of the person in a special situation, maybe with friends at an office party or caught with a smile doing something good. is an example of unique personalization.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice lens! I completely agree that good clients and good staff must be rewarded. The most precious resource in any business is people - staff and clients, and they need to feel appreciated in order to want to come to work every day, or to be return clients. I think gifts should be personalised, and the more you know about the receiver, the better informed you are for choosing a gift.

      I've just started a blog on client gifts. You can check it out at . I will be posting up some ideas for personalised gift ideas. There's also a few interesting stats there.

      Thanks for this lens Allan!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I like the KIMBooks gift certificates. KIMBooks is an online bookstore - VERY SIMILAIR to Amazon, only they are a nonprofit. Because everything is at cost, my employees love that they can get more with their gift certificates. Their site says that every dollar spent on KIMBooks has a retail value of $1.87.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens!

      The theme of the lens is interesting. Giving a good ans useful gift to the employee, makes them encouraging .

      Abig 5tars for your lens.

      Checkout my blog

    • k8company profile image


      10 years ago

      I'm a firm believer in attaboy and attagirl gifts in the workplace. It always amazes me when employers don't get the concept that happy, appreciated employees do their work better. Duh!

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 

      12 years ago from Detroit

      One year I used really nice company t shirts, and I was amazed at the difference they made in team work and attitude. When I have employees again, I will surely be carefully considering how to show appreciation. Great suggestions.


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