Do you feel like you have everything under control for the upcoming Holiday Season at work?

Of course, not every member of your staff celebrates in the same way, but who would say ‘no’ to gifts and treats? Whether you like it or not, the end of the calendar year is only a couple of weeks away. Is your business ready for that?

You don’t need an excuse to show your employees that you care. Any time is a good time to express your appreciation and recognize their dedication and loyalty.

Employee gift ideas for under $100

However, the Holiday Season is ideal for rewarding your employees for their hard work and motivating them for the year to come. But finding a unique reward idea can be challenging, especially if you’re on a budget. In fact, everyone has unique desires and needs.

It can already be so tricky to choose for our closest friends and family members. So, how can we be 100% sure what each individual in our team values and desire? You don’t want to end up causing more harm than good: No one likes getting a gift they can’t use or don’t like.

To facilitate the process for you — whether you’re looking for employee gift ideas or you want to get something for your co-workers — here are 20 unique employee gift ideas under $100.

Feel free to jump to the section that suits your needs:

1. For the frequent traveller
2. For the self-care lover
3. For the practical and intellectual
4. For the home chef
5. For the outdoorsy and active


Gift ideas for frequent travellers

Manta Sleep Mask

This sleep mask is a must-have for anyone who travels or simply wants to get a good night’s sleep. It’s a full black-out mask, so you can snooze peacefully while you jet off to your next destination. 

Packing Cubes

Every avid traveller knows: Travelling light is more than a catch-phrase; it’s a must. Packing cubes help make travelling light easy, and they make a great gift for frequent flyers. 

Portable Power Bank

Many of us commute to work and spend at least eight hours in the workplace. It’s notseet uncommon for phone batteries to die during the day, which can often lead to panic! (“Does anyone have a phone charger?!”). So, the portable power bank is definitely a practical gift!

Filter Water Bottle

Unsafe drinking water is a travel reality. A filter water bottle makes an excellent gift for people who travel internationally. This bottle cleans up 99.9% of waterborne parasites & bacteria from water sources in many countries where water quality can be an issue.

Shower/Beauty Essentials Travel Set

Frequent travellers rarely check a bag. So they know that mini travel size bottles are the only way to go. A sophisticated set with the travel essentials -- shampoo, soap, toothpaste, is a practical yet beautiful gift.

Gift ideas for self-care lovers

Sunset Lamp

Light therapy is a real thing. And the sunset lamp’s warm, sunset hues are an inexpensive and powerful way to unwind at the end of the day. It can be especially beneficial to those living in climates with long, dark winters. lamp

Scented Candles

Who doesn’t love a beautifully scented candle? Especially during the harsh winter months. That’s why a  scented candle is an easy and thoughtful gift for anyone on your list who loves to cozy up at home. 

Bamboo Bathtub Caddy

Perfect for the TGIF moments. This is the perfect accessory for the ultimate at-home spa experience. Choose one that is designed to safely hold a book, tablet or smartphone, but most of all: the wine glass holder

Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oils are known for encouraging tranquillity and offering a sense of comfort. Your employees will be happy to use this natural diffuser in the office or at home to clear their minds and relax.

Live Air Plant Terrarium Desk Garden

Air plant terrarium gardens add a touch of greenery to your employee’s desks, boosting their mood and possibly promoting better health. The best part is they are low maintenance, so no need to have a green thumb to take care of their own mini-world!

Spa Gift Certificate

Give them a day of relaxation where they can ‘work’ on their well-being with some well-deserved “me-time.” A gift certificate for a spa treatment or massage makes a great employee appreciation gift idea because it shows employees that you care about their health and well-being. Just make sure to pick a spa that is easily accessible and not an hour out of town!

Gift ideas for the practical and organized

Stylish Desk Organizer

A practical person knows a clear desk means a clear mind. This beautiful set is practical and stylish and makes staying organized look good! It’s the perfect accessory for at home or work. 

Coffee Gift Card

Your employees likely spend a chunk of their salary purchasing coffee throughout the workday because we all know office coffee quality is highly questionable. It’s always aorganizer battle between those who complain that the coffee is too watery and those who just want to sip on a warm liquid. Get your employees a coffee gift card from their favourite coffee shop. Your caffeine-addicted employees will love it for sure

Book Store Gift Certificate

Everyone has a bookworm on their team. A simple, practical gift is to give the gift of choice and offer a gift certificate to a book store to choose their gift. 

Magazine Subscription

Books are not the only important source of knowledge. Increasingly online publications and magazines content is locked behind a paywall. So offering a yearly subscription to a magazine or online publication can be a wonderful gift for that intellectually curious individual on your team.

Apple AirTags

The AirTag acts as a versatile, easy-to-use tracking device. It can be added to a keyring or any personal item you want to track. Then enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you're only a few clicks away from finding your belongings. It's a great gift for frequent travellers as well!

Gift ideas for food-lovers

Nice Bottle of Wine

Ok, it’s a bit cliché. But a good bottle of wine is totally appropriate for the festive period and going to be useful. It’s simple. It doesn’t have to blow the budget, and attaching a personalized note to the bottle will work for pretty much everyone.

Stainless Steel Knives Set

If you know someone in your company who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, get them a nice set of kitchen knives that are dishwasher-friendly, as well as comfortable to hold. The Foodies in your team will appreciate having the proper tools to cook their everydayoliveoil meals.

Gourmet Salt Set

A good home chef knows spice is life. And a great quality salt can make the difference between an OK meal and an amazing one. This salt set makes an excellent gift for anyone who loves to cook and enjoys the finer things in life.

Fancy Meat Seasoning

Any meat or BBQ lovers on your team? A set of gourmet meat rubs or unique specialty spices makes for a wonderful (and tasty!) gift.

TRUFF Gourmet Sauce a gift? Yes! Consumable items are the best gift — especially for people who already have everything. And The sauce industry has really stepped up its game. A fancy sauce like TRUFF makes for an elegant and practical gift you know they will get used to and enjoy from start to finish.

Selection of Specialty Tea or Coffee

Coffee and tea and everyday essentials. So they make great gifts for people that already have “everything they need.” And true tea or coffee lovers are always open to trying something new. Offering a specialty tea or coffee is a great universal gift for anyone.

Premium Olive Oil Set

We are not talking about the standard 10$ olive oil from the supermarket. Olive oil, just like perfume, can come in a range of qualities and prices. An olive oil bottle or a set of infused olive oils will always be appreciated by those who enjoy good food.

Gift ideas for outdoors enthusiasts

Crank Brothers Bicycle Tool

On every team, there’s a person who is always biking. This compact and practical tool makes an excellent gift for any biking enthusiast. 

Titanium Camping Mug

This is an old-school tin camp cup reinvented. Perfect for keeping drinks as hot or cold as people like them when sitting at a desk all day or on a weekend getaway.

Yoga Mat Duffle Bag

Do you have anyone on your team who loves to do yoga? They probably already have afire mat, but there are other yoga accessories that can make great gifts. Such as a yoga mat strap, duffle bag, or block. 

Touchscreen Gloves

If you’re like me, you lose a pair of gloves practically every winter. So while gloves are a bit of a cliche gift -- they probably already have a pair, gloves are a cold-weather essential. So a backup pair always comes in handy. 

Portable Fireplace

Want to have the vibe of summer camping in the middle of the city? Portable fireplaces help you get the bonfire experience from your home and can be used any time of the year! 

Ear Warmers with Built-In Headphones

This is a good one if you’re reading from Canada or any other place where winter has started. If you have an athletic employee, they might enjoy running with a pair of ear warmers that double as headphones. It’s also great for anyone who defies the Canadian cold and walks to work.

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Give your employees the gift of choice!

Sure, personalized gifts make a stronger statement. But maybe you’re still not sure you know your employees and co-workers well enough to find THE perfect gift each person will LOVE. 

Maybe you don’t really have the time to select carefully?

Well, why don’t you just give them the option to decide on the best gift for themselves?

More and more companies opt for an employee reward catalogue, like the Applauz Rewards Market, so employees can shop independently and purchase a gift they like.

The Foodie, the Nature Lover, the Gym Fanatic, the Gamer, the Fashionista and everyone else! There is something for everyone. 

Usually, you decide what brands and products you’d like to implement in your online reward catalogue. After that, your employees just use a login and password, and they can select the product they want to find under the tree.

Either way, good luck gift shopping!

Marianne Lemay
Marianne Lemay

President & Founder of Kolegz RH. Marianne is a speaker, blogger and vlogger, and all her initiatives aim to inspire human resources professionals to become even more innovative.

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