Associate Gift Guide: 10 ideas to show your appreciation

December 1, 2021 Casey Nighbor

Holiday gifts wrapped in brown paper and tied with red striped string and pine garland

Your employees work incredibly hard to keep your operation running. Now more than ever, they need a little appreciation and care. 

Gifts are a great way to show how much you value your employees and their contributions. But sometimes it’s hard to decide what gift will make the most impact.

Whether you need a gift to share among your team, something to help with their daily life or extra perks on the job, there’s an idea for every instance.

Gifts to share or to satisfy

Depending on your operation’s setup, it may be easier to give a token of appreciation as a group. If you want to give more individual gifts, food and drinks are always surefire choices.

1. Catered lunch

Nothing fosters appreciation and the holiday spirit like a nice catered lunch. It also comes as a welcome departure from the norm. Let your employees weigh in on the choices and pick the top one.

Be sure to take note of any dietary needs so that everyone can be included.

2. Provide breakfast

If a formal sit-down meal isn’t possible, consider having a grab and go breakfast station with free breakfast.

3. Snack packs

Snacks are always a safe and helpful choice for people to eat during breaks or on the go. This is also helpful if your employees have families with children. Again, keep in mind any dietary restrictions and offer a wide range of snack options to fit.

4. Coffee credits

Credits at a local coffee shop or the closest one to your operation would be a small token of appreciation for your employees this holiday season.

Gifts that help make their life easier

Some of the best gifts of appreciation are those that take the burden of daily expenses off someone around the holidays. With many people spending more money on gifts and other holidays things, this can be much more helpful than material goods.

5. Commuter pass or gas card

Do your employees take public transit to work? Get them a month’s worth of rides. If most of your employees drive, a gas card would be a welcome surprise.

6. Checks for holiday gifts

The holidays are hard on wallets, especially those with families. Consider giving extra money or gift cards for holiday gifts. Anything to help lift the burden of spending can be helpful and appreciated by your employees. If you don’t want to offer a monetary gift, you could also buy popular toys, gadgets and stocking stuffers that they can keep for themselves or give as gifts to their family and friends.

7. Gift cards

Gift cards are always welcome and an easy way to show appreciation. You can do gift cards that can be used anywhere or ones from popular stores like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon or your local grocery store.

Gifts that offer extra perks

8. Corporate discounts

Depending on your business, offering corporate discounts on your products or service can be a good way to show you care during the holiday season. This is an especially great option if you have many employees where individual gift giving is difficult.

9. Extra vacation

Extra vacation days to be taken after the holiday season can be a welcome relief for your employees.

10. Workout pass or gym membership

A gift that helps employees take care of themselves is a pass to a local exercise class or discount at a local gym.

Whichever gift you choose, make sure you emphasize why you’re giving the gift when you give it. Verbalizing why you are giving your employees a holiday gift helps with retention and making them feel connected to the greater whole.

About the Author

About Casey: Content marketing manager, frequently reading, aspiring chef, failed plant mom, connoisseur of tater tots, beauty products and airplane food.

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