Applauz Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gifts: 60 Ideas for Every Budget

Published: March 26, 2024

  10 min read

By: Anouare Abdou

60 Employee Gift Ideas for Every Budget

Employee gifts can boost engagement and build a positive workplace culture. Not sure where to start? Check out these 60 thoughtful yet appropriate employee gift ideas. 

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gifts: 60 Ideas for Every Budget


How often do you recognize and appreciate employees? More importantly, how do you show your appreciation? Those efforts matter more than you think, so they shouldn’t be left up to chance. A Gallup study revealed that workers who receive “great recognition” are 20 times as likely to be engaged as those who receive “poor recognition.” That’s a huge difference, and it can make or break employee morale and job satisfaction while impacting employee retention.

But what makes recognition effective? Variety, frequency, and authenticity are key. It’s important to dish out different forms of genuine appreciation on a regular basis. That way, you can engage all your employees – different people like being recognized in different ways.

Enter thoughtful gifts and employee rewards, which complement shout-outs and appreciation messages and help you create a well-rounded recognition program. Since company swag tends to be underwhelming, check out the 60 employee gift ideas below – along with tips on choosing the perfect gifts for your team.

(PS Applauz’s employee rewards marketplace gives you the flexibility to set your budget and allows your employees to choose the gift that resonates most with them. You can even use it to give your team service awards vouchers.)   

hands-young-elegant-businessman-with-packed-birthday-present-giftbox-passing-you-gift-blue-box-with-bow-made-up-silk-ribbon-2Why Employee Gifts Matter

Have you ever noticed the instant shift in body language that happens when you give someone a thoughtful compliment? The right employee gift can take that powerful effect to the next level.

It shows that you value your employees enough to put some thought into a gift – and invest in one. The simple act of offering a gift can have long-lasting effects on motivation, increase engagement, and build a positive workplace culture.

Keep in mind that the thoughtfulness behind the gift matters more than its price. Meaningful gifts don’t have to cost a fortune – they just have to demonstrate that you truly see and understand the recipient.

From milestone gifts and work anniversary gifts to employee celebration events such as birthdays, there are several appropriate occasions to celebrate your team with thoughtful presents. The holiday season is a big one, of course. Whether you choose to offer rewards as holiday gifts or give your coworkers presents to unwrap, it’s an important time of the year to give back – and workplace holiday events offer an opportunity to be extra generous.

young-female-giving-gift-husband-2Considerations for Choosing Employee Gifts

There are a few other factors to consider when choosing employee gifts. As mentioned, personalization is key. Stay away from cliché gifts like socks and shower gel. Make sure the gift is relevant too – don’t give a pregnant woman a bottle of wine, for example.

According to a Tremendous study, most HR professionals don’t give employees gifts they actually value. But when team members receive the right gift, the positive impact can be felt for months: 75% of employees experience increased job satisfaction for over three months after receiving the right holiday gift, and 46% of them feel that effect for over a year. In other words, not all gifts are created equal, but there is a tangible ROI when you get it right.

Additionally, planning your budget in advance is important. Map out the occasions that you’ll be celebrating throughout the quarter to get an idea of how much you can realistically spend per individual gift. Save expensive items for bigger occasions, like a 10-year work anniversary (and make sure you craft a meaningful anniversary message too).

You can also allow employees to pick out their own gifts and rewards with a digital rewards catalog filled with unique, high-quality items, such as the Applauz Rewards Marketplace, which has over 30,000 items to cater to a variety of preferences. According to an InstantPrint survey, this is actually the best holiday gift for employees, with 29% of people reporting that they would like to receive a gift voucher from their employer.

The 60 gifts below are actually all available through Applauz – and they are guaranteed to please.  

Offer a Memorable Service Awards Program with Applauz Book a Demo

close-up-hand-holding-present-2Budget-Friendly Employee Gift Ideas Under $50

  1. Sennheiser’s GSP 300 Gaming Headset 

    With comfortable memory foam ear pads that provide a high-quality audio experience and a noise-canceling microphone, this headset will please the gamers in your team.

  2. Colibri Polaris Satin Stainless Steel Cufflinks

    Coworkers who love to dress up will appreciate these classic stainless steel cufflinks. You can’t go wrong with their sleek, minimalist design – and they can be worn both vertically or horizontally.

  3. Amazon Echo Dot 5th Gen Speaker

    Alexa, what’s a good gift for employees? The Echo Dot 5th generation speaker checks all the boxes: It provides a crisp audio experience for listening to content and can be combined with compatible smart home devices to optimize your routines.

  4. Asobu Ice Cream Keeper

    Do you have an ice cream lover on your team? This ice cream keeper will keep a pint of ice cream frozen for hours. Yes, it means you can bring ice cream to the beach or to a BBQ.

  5. T-fal Lint Remover

    If you’re looking for a practical gift, this T-fal lint remover is pretty neat. It’s so much more effective than a lint roller, and it can be safely used on all garments.

  6. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sommelier Wine Cooler 

    Wine aficionados will enjoy this high-quality cooler, which works with both champagne and wine bottles and doesn’t require any ice.

  7. Asobu Dog Bowl Bottle 

    Do you have a coworker who always talks about their dog? This innovative dog bowl bottle makes it a breeze to keep your pup hydrated on the go (while keeping yourself hydrated too).

  8. Favuzzi Silly Cow Farms Chocolate Hot
    Caramel Sea Salt

    Pair this gourmet hot chocolate with sea salt and caramel mix with a mug and a card to leave a sweet, budget-friendly surprise on an employee’s desk.

  9. Ricardo Mini Sandwich Maker 

    This mini sandwich maker will elevate in-office lunches. It’s portable and delivers a perfectly grilled, melty sandwich in minutes.

  10. Bodum Chambord Coffee Maker with 2 Glasses

    Nothing brings out the full flavor of coffee like a French press. This stylish carafe is easy to use and will look good on any coffee counter.

  11. Asobu Ultimate Travel Mug

    With its double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel, easy-to-clean ceramic coating, and splash-proof lid, this travel mug has everything you need to commute with your coffee without spilling it everywhere.

  12. Grosche Milk Frother

    If your coworker buys a matcha latte every day, this frother may just eliminate the need to head to Starbucks. It creates a thick, creamy froth on the spot.

  13. OXO Electronics Cleaning Brush

    This neat cleaning brush is another practical gift that people will actually use. It reaches hard-to-clean nooks like keyboard keys and screen edges, and it’s gentle enough to clean camera lenses safely.

  14. Trudeau Set of 7 Ceramic Chills

    Scotch drinkers will enjoy replacing ice cubes with these stylish ceramic chills that won’t dilute drinks.

  15. Kikkerland Grass Pen Stand

    Say goodbye to scattered pens with this fun desk accessory. The potted faux grass will spruce up a cubicle while providing an easy way to store pens.

  16. Salton Mug Warmer

    This mug warmer keeps beverages warm at all times, allowing your teammate to nurse their cup of coffee or tea all day long.

  17. Bodum Assam Tea Press

    This beautiful teapot allows you to enjoy loose-leaf tea just how you like it. It’s crafted from glass, making it easy to brew your tea at your preferred strength.

  18. Kikkerland iBed Lap Desk

    This lap desk takes the WFH experience to another level. It features a sturdy non-slip surface for your laptop and a microbead cushion so you can comfortably work from the couch (or bed, if it’s one of those days).

  19. Riedel O Cabernet-Merlot Wine Glass

    This stem-free glass set is great for those who enjoy full-bodied reds. According to Riedel, it’s designed to “emphasize the fruit” and “play down the bitter qualities of the tannin.”

  20. Cuisinart EasyPop Hot Air Popcorn Maker

    We all know someone who is obsessed with popcorn. This Cuisinart popcorn maker makes up to 10 cups of popcorn in under 3 minutes, perfect for movie night or a communal afternoon snack at the office. 

excited-african-american-woman-unpacking-box-with-headphones-home (1)Affordable Employee Gift Ideas Under $100

  1. FujiFilm Instax Mini 12

    Create memories and liven up in-person events with this playful instant camera, which features a fun design and a selfie mirror. It’s easy to use and delivers credit-card-sized film prints.

  2. Under Armour Women’s Signature Duffle Bag

    This lightweight and durable duffle is the ultimate gym bag. It includes front elastic straps to carry a yoga mat and several compartments to organize essentials. It’s also water-resistant.

  3. Asobu Portable Cold Brew Coffee Maker

    Cold brew takes time and patience to brew – and that’s what makes it so delicious. This Asobu Portable Cold Brew Coffee boasts a 32-ounce insulated carafe that allows you to enjoy your coffee the next day or take it with you.

  4. Beurer 4-in-1 Bluetooth Wakeup Light

    Help your coworker start the day on the right foot with this wake-up light that simulates the sunrise thanks to a gradually brightening LED light. Different melodies and color settings allow for a personalized morning ritual.

  5. Keurig K-Express Single Serve Coffee Maker

    Delight a caffeine-powered teammate with this single-serve Keurig coffee maker that can be set up on a work desk.

  6. Victorinox Classic SD Precious Alox

    This compact multitool is a functional yet elevated version of Victorinox’s timeless pocket knife design. The gorgeous woven pattern and color options add a contemporary touch to a classic essential.

  7. Riedel Performance Decanter

    Don’t let the simple look of this decanter fool you. Wine lovers will appreciate the subtleties of the optical blown glass design – and the fact that it’s dishwasher-safe.

  8. The North Face Camp Hammock

    Do you have a coworker who loves the outdoors? This lightweight and packable hammock will take their backcountry lounging to the next level.

  9. Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Drill & Project Kit

    This cordless drill and project kit will please those who love to spend their weekends building and fixing things.

  10. Salton 6-Person Party Grill and Raclette

    Those who love hosting will love adding this party grill and raclette kit to their kitchenware collection. It’s easy to use and clean and provides a unique way to bring people together.

  11. Pictorem It's Always Coffee Time Canvas Print Collection

    This 16 x 16 modern canvas print is a great piece for a home office. It’s surprisingly versatile in terms of matching different decor styles.

  12. Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Home Candle

    When in doubt, a luxury candle always makes a great gift. This Jo Malone wood sage and sea salt candle is inspired by the scent of the British coast – think moody waves and rugged cliffs.

  13. Escalade Sports Zume Games Pickleball Recreational Net Set

    Spread the joy of pickleball with this portable set. It includes two wooden pickleball paddles and pickleballs, a 12-foot net kit, a carrying case, and a how-to guide.

  14. Danby 7.4L Mini Makeup Fridge with Mirror and Light

    Your Sephora-obsessed coworker will be wowed by this mini makeup fridge that doubles as a vanity with a mirror and light. That’s right, you can store your beauty products in a fridge to optimize their shelf life.

  15. Umbra Aquala Bathtub Caddy

    Give the gift of a spa night at home with this bathtub caddy. It includes a wine glass compartment and a secure slot for a phone along with a book or tablet holder.

  16. Peugeot Les Impitoyables Whisky Tasting Set

    This set is ideal for anyone who appreciates the joys of tasting whiskey. The glass is designed to bring out the flavors of spirits such as whiskey, cognac, scotch, brandy, Armagnacs, and more while toning down alcohol vapors. It comes with a metal chilling base.

  17. Royal Albert 100 Years of Royal Albert 1980 Mug

    Vintage lovers will adore this luxurious tea mug with a floral design. It’s made of fine bone china and comes in a beautiful box.

  18. Salton S’mores Maker

    Does your coworker have a sweet tooth? Give them the opportunity to make S’mores indoors and year-round with this convenient appliance – no campfire required.

  19. The North Face Borealis Tote

    It’s functional, stylish, and doubles as a backpack. What more could you want in a daily tote?

  20. Catan Board Game

    Board game enthusiasts who don’t have Catan in their collection will go crazy for this multiplayer game, which has a loyal fanbase and can easily satisfy both beginners and advanced players.

  21. Stanley Adventure Cooler

    Stanley may be known for their bottles, but their coolers also boast impressive features: rugged and lightweight, leakproof, roomy, and comfortable to carry.

joyful-brunette-woman-demonstrating-her-friendly-smile-while-showing-her-present-per-videoLuxury Employee Gift Ideas
Over $100

  1. Beatnick & Sons Terry Backpack

    This elegant backpack is handmade in Brazil and features high-quality materials such as leather and waterproof Oxford fabric. It can comfortably fit a 16-inch laptop along with other essentials.

  2. Beurer Shiatsu Foot Massager

    Treat a hardworking teammate to a shiatsu foot massager with 18 rotating modules, two speed settings, and a built-in heat function.

  3. Barsetto One-Touch Automatic Espresso Machine

    Coffee snobs will appreciate this automatic Espresso machine, which delivers rich coffee with the touch of a button. It’s compatible with both Nespresso Original Line and Barsetto capsules.

  4. Marshall Willen Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker

    This top-rated speaker is not only dust-proof and waterproof, but it also offers a powerful audio experience for its size. It’s stylish, too.

  5. Cangshan Kita 6 Piece Block Set

    Amateur chefs will go crazy for this high-end knife set. Hand-sharpened steel blades meet durable handles and look great on any kitchen countertop.

  6. Hyperice Hypervolt Go 2 Massager

    If you have a coworker who is into fitness, consider giving them this Hyperice massage gun, which melts away muscle tension and loosens knots.

  7. The North Face Base Camp Voyager Daypack

    This 26-liter North Face backpack is the perfect adventure companion. It’s made with the brand’s signature water- and abrasion-resistant Base Camp voyager fabric and offers plenty of space for clothing, water bottles, and more.

  8. Cuddle Down Waffle Weave Cuddle Blanket Throw

    This soft and lightweight throw is made of 100% cotton woven in Portugal – and it will effortlessly match any aesthetic.

  9. Briggs & Riley Executive Travel Duffle

    Frequent flyers will appreciate this travel duffle bag. It fits under a plane seat and can be slipped through the handle of a carry-on for a more seamless airport experience.

  10. Safari Pro Connect Video Conferencing Kit

    If your coworker spends a lot of time on video calls or if they create content on a regular basis, they’ll love this video conferencing kit, which comes with a webcam, a ring light, a tabletop stand, and a USB microphone.

  11. Shark Air Purifier 3-in-1

    Give the gift of purified air. This Shark Air Purifier is a high-end pick that will provide much-needed relief to that coworker who is always struggling with allergies.

  12. Cross Townsend Classic Black Lacquer Rollerball Pen

    When it comes to classy employee gifts, you can’t go wrong with a luxury pen. This Townsend option looks good, feels good, writes nicely, and has just the right amount of weight.

  13. AirPods Pro (2nd generation)

    These AirPods Pro deliver outstanding sound quality thanks to features like adaptive audio, which blends noise cancellation with transparency mode (this allows external sound in so you can hear what’s going on) to adapt the listening experience to different environments.

  14. Emile Henry Pizza Stone 3-Piece Gift Set

    Is your coworker a foodie who enjoys making things from scratch? This pizza stone gives them all the tools to experiment with homemade pizza.

  15. Original Fatboy Beanbag

    This best-selling beanbag is a crowd-pleaser for a reason. It’s durable, comfortable, and can be used indoors and outdoors.

  16. Camp Chef Redwood Propane Fire Pit

    This portable propane fire pit is easy to use and doesn’t require fussing with firewood. Depending on local restrictions, it can be used in a backyard, while tailgating, at the beach, or while camping.

  17. Koolatron 12 Bottle Deluxe Wine Chiller

    Surprise your wine-loving teammate with this elegant freestanding wine fridge, which holds up to 12 bottles and keeps them at the optimal temperature.

  18. Bose QuietComfort Headphones

    These headphones will make the world around you fade away. They’re comfortable, immersive, and provide a deep and clear audio experience – perfect for a focused work session.

  19. Cuisinart Basket Air Fryer

    Air fryers are all the rage – and this Cuisinart model comes with raving reviews. It doesn’t take up too much counter space and it features convenient presets to air fry a variety of dishes. 

business-woman-holding-giftbox-greeting-card-office-tableShould You Give Employee Gifts?

Giving employees gifts can be a meaningful way to show appreciation, boost morale, and foster a positive workplace culture. Employee gift-giving should be encouraged, but it’s not the only form of employee appreciation you should dish out. Think of gifts as a complement to other types of employee engagement efforts, such as appreciation messages and peer-recognition strategies.

Employee gifts are crucial for fostering a positive, people-centric workplace culture. Always personalize gifts based on individual preferences and the occasion you’re marking with the gift. Remember that thoughtfulness matters more than cost so it’s worth spending time getting to know who your employees are outside of work to truly nail your gift choices.

Ready to boost employee engagement even further?  Read our comprehensive guide to creating a successful employee recognition program.

If you want to learn more about Applauz, our employee recognition platform, and our rewards marketplace, book a demo with our team today.

Offer a Memorable Service Awards Program with Applauz Book a Demo


Employee Gifts-Frequently Asked Questions

What is employee gifting?

Employee gifting simply refers to the idea of giving an employee a gift. It typically involves certain milestones and occasions, such as birthday celebrations, work anniversaries, and the holidays. Keeping employee gifts professional and appropriate is key.

What is the appropriate gift amount for employees?

From small treats such as a funny mug to bigger gifts like a luxury pen, the appropriate gift amount for employees depends on your budget and the occasion. For example, if you’re celebrating someone’s retirement, it’s a big deal – you’ll want to spend more.

What are some gift ideas for employees?

Electronics, kitchenware, candles, travel accessories, outdoor gear, or gifts related to certain hobbies are good starting points for finding an appropriate employee gift. Avoid things that are too personal, like cologne or clothing.

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