Staff gifts - What to give?

As a manager I have always loved to give small unexpected gifts to staff to recognize them for what they’ve done. Ideally surprise them with the timing of the gift or the gift itself. What are the best gifts you have given to OR received from staff? (stranger the better IMO just wanting some new ideas :))

Some things i have sent in the past are:

  • Movie voucher experiences- includes 2 tickets + popcorn and choc top
  • Personalised cookies
  • KeepCups
  • Ethically made chocolate
  • Cheese hampers
  • Succulents

Personalisation around experience is excellent if you have insight into personal preferences. Have also found optionality around a pre-paid donation, where the recipient chooses the cause, to be really well received (we built a whole platform around this, happy to share).

Even without a gift, a thank you message is extremely valuable in appreciating the value that people bring and has great benefits for culture :slight_smile:


It doesn’t necessary have to be a physical gift - you could show your appreciation in an extra paid day off for the employee, team lunch, team offsite, or even a team volunteer day.

My current company provides Amex gift cards or company SWAG - maybe a sweatshirt, water bottle or bag!


I’ve been given jigsaw puzzles by a couple of different managers. I love them because it’s so personal - they know I enjoy doing puzzles, so it demonstrates that they know me as a person.
In a previous role I was given a digital camera - it was expensive too, so something I would never have bought myself. It demonstrated that they treasured me and wanted to thank me in a big way.
I’ve also been given engraved pens, which I treasure. So useful and a nice reminder of an employer/event.

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The Five Languages of Appreciation at Work is a great book to help personalize the gift. It’s also a fun survey to give during onboarding to connect and personalize their journey.

My team is a group of foodies and enjoy the gift of bonding time. Each month we find a new restaurant and have a community dinner. Other times it’s custom spice blends, the Shamrock Shake runs and craft coffee. For non-food gifts, Demeter Fragrance has this graham cracker room spray; Keep cups; tea light holders; fun socks; and for a milestone anniversary it’s techie stuff like an Instax Mini, Google home or Echo dot.

What a great thread!

I agree completely re personalisation, that’s what makes the recognition so special. I like to keep a log / spreadsheet of things about people I work with, so if I hear they like a particular food / author / topic, I write it down and can refer to it when the time is right.

Also agree with @serkanat, time is so valuable to us all and giving someone an afternoon / day off could very well be the highest form of recognition (for some!).

If you’re after some ethically made chocolate, Hey Tiger is some of the best I have ever come across! :blush: