The stats are in! If our Business Gift Satisfaction Survey Reports have convinced you that you need an employee gifting strategy to improve retention, recognize special occasions and top achievers, and boost company morale across the board, you can start creating great employee gifts today using our expert tips.

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The most memorable gifts for staff and employees share a few key attributes: they include truly unique gift items, they are clearly hand-picked especially for the recipient, they come with a personal message from the giver, and they’re not branded or logoed (save those for the company-wide retreats). We’ll show you how to create unique employee gifts that you can give for staff appreciation events, company holiday parties, and personal milestone events like retirements, job anniversaries, and significant accomplishments. You can find gift inspiration in our list of the Top 10 Gifts for Employees or Staff, customize any of the gifts you see below, or create your own gifts from scratch. Either way, our Business Gift Concierge staff is here to help. 

Top 10 Gifts For Employees or Staff

  1. Thanks-olate Gift Set: When you need a small thank you gift for office staff or employees on your team, think beyond gift cards and treats. This “Thanks-olate” employee thank you gift does include a treat–what better way to say thanks than with chocolate, after all?–but it also includes an unusual notebook and rollerball pen for the desk or office. Both thoughtful and useful, it’s the perfect employee appreciation gift when you want to give something they can use and enjoy every day. 

    Chocolate journal employee gift

    Thanks-olate Gift Set

  2. Black Tie: Dress up your giving routine with this versatile, stylish gift. This set includes a hand-poured soy wax candle created for Prosperity Candle’s Burmese Candle line and a trio of delicious chocolate bars from jcoco. The “Gratitude” candle, created by refugee women from Burma, is an evocative blend of lemon infused with jasmine, cedar and a hint of musk; an uplifting neutral fragrance that’s lovely during any season. The chocolate comes in flavors of 80% Dark Chocolate, Arabica Cherry Espresso Dark Chocolate, and Boharat Middle Eastern Spice Dark Chocolate. For every jcoco purchase, they donate a serving of healthy food to someone in need through their food bank partners.
  3. Wake Me Up Before I Go Go: Wake them up with a gift that will have them on the go from the moment they start the day.  Espro’s Travel French Press does it all. They can brew coffee directly in the container and then take it with them as a travel tumbler. Smart, right? The press is double-walled and vacuum-insulated to keep coffee hot for hours. We’ve included Hair Bender Coffee because we love the name (perfect for bed heads) and it’s Stumptown’s most popular beans. To stay breath-fresh, Simply Gum’s all natural Cinnamon Gum slips into any backpack, handbag or pocket.
  4. Never Enough Chocolate: We all know the importance of a balanced diet, so don’t go filling up on just one kind of chocolate. This gift set is a treasure trove of cocoa-y goodness with a little something for everyone. All the products in this irresistible collection are made with great care and a passion for chocolate – it’s perfect for someone you truly want to delight.
  5. The Word Warrior: Here’s the perfect gift for people who like to take their writing on the road even if that’s just around the corner to a favorite coffeehouse. The top-grain cowhide leather notebook cover is handsewn and includes a lined refillable journal. What we love about this black leather notebook is that the inevitable scuffs and marks become as much a part of the journey as the words. We’ve included a nifty slim water bottle to drop in the narrowest backpack space to stay hydrated and a sleek black lacquer rollerball pen.
  6. Campfire Cocoa Gift Set: Send them a gift that brings the warm, sweet smell of cocoa into their home. The generously sized cocoa candle comes in a cocoa colored glass holder and is made of coconut wax and beeswax. The two enamelware campfire mugs are just the right size for adult or child use to enjoy a cup of the included double chocolate cocoa mix.
  7. Double Double Chocolate: Chocolate espresso cookies and hot cocoa topped with a marshmallow snowflake served in a clever holiday mug – not sure it gets better than this. A delightful gift for the office or for someone on your “nice” list. They’ll enjoy the tasty treats and keepsake mug with matching box.
  8. Classic Cheeseboard Gift Set: Turning an old adage on its head for this gift set, all that glitters is gold. Friends will be impressed by this elegant, generously sized marble cheese board with brass inlays. A typical cheese course requires at least three cheeses and we’ve made labeling the most popular board cheeses wonderfully simple. The gold-plated arrow cheese markers are hand-stamped with the cheese varieties bleu, brie, chevre and gouda. The small  white porcelain and gold serving dish completes a refined presentation and easily holds a delicious spread or soft cheese.

  9. We Adore S’Mores Gift Set: If you think of s’mores as something you can’t send in the mail, think again! This gift set elevates everyone’s favorite campfire snack to a gourmet art form, and it’s not for the casual s’more-ficionado. Sure, there’s some assembly required, but everyone knows that’s part of the fun. This collection of treats contains crisp graham crackers, dark chocolate, and tender marshmallows ready to be roasted to the exact shade of toastiness you crave. We’ve included a set of 2 extending marshmallow roasting sticks to help you achieve a perfectly gooey marshmallow without singeing your fingers or burning it to a crisp–unless, of course, you like them that way.
  10. Popcorn Snack Medley: Looking for the perfect popcorn flavor medley? This is it. Send this gift for the whole family to share or be the favorite college parent. This mix includes two Pop on The Cob popcorn cobs (easily pops in the microwave), a tin of toffee pretzels, dark chocolate covered cherries and sea salt peanuts. We like them swirled together or everyone can add their favorites.


Wondering how else you can make gifts that will blow your employees away? It may sound daunting, but doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Knack’s Top Employee and Business Gifting Tips

  • Pay attention to your intended recipients to get a sense of their hobbies and backgrounds. You might learn that Steph in IT used to be an award-winning barista, or that Tom in accounting is taking a 3-week trip to Japan to celebrate his 20-year work anniversary…imagine how satisfying it would be to give gifts that suit them perfectly. Our Business Gift Concierge Staff can help. 
  • Don’t shop just anywhere, or you risk spending valuable time finding gifts that, in the end, are just not quite right. If you have a list of gifting resources (or an on-call expert like one of our account specialists to advise you), you can save yourself time and a lot of “giver’s angst” when you need to find a great gift in a hurry. You can even shop our business gift collection for quick ideas. 

business gifts

  • When in doubt, or for occasions where a larger gift might not be appropriate, gift cards are still a good option for an employee gift. Gift cards came in second among clients’ favorite gifts, but they’re a top choice for employees–88% of employees ranked a gift card as their preferred gift, just a few points ahead of “unique and useful items.”
  • In our survey, most employees indicated that, when it comes to significant business milestone gifts, they expect their employer to spend at least twice the value of the annual holiday gifts. $150 is a good benchmark for gifts that celebrate company-wide triumphs, while $75 is the sweet spot for gifts acknowledging birthdays and work anniversaries.
  • There’s a time and place for giving branded items, but if your employees’ holiday gifts have your company logo emblazoned on them, you could come off as out of touch. Employees and clients alike tend to be skeptical of branded and logoed gifts–our survey respondents consider branded gifts 60% LESS memorable than non-logoed items, so save those for recruiting events, employee onboarding, corporate events, and company meetings.
  • No matter what you give, one guaranteed way to boost your gift’s “memorability factor” is to include a personal note. Both clients and employees reported that many of the gifts they received in the last year did not arrive with a gift message, a stat we were dismayed to see, but one that’s easily remedied! If you find yourself at a loss for words, a brief explanation of why you chose this gift for this recipient is always a good idea. Your recipient will appreciate that you took the time to write, and if you share a personal anecdote about your connection to the gift item, it can make the gift feel instantly more thoughtful and meaningful. At the very least, make sure to mention the gift occasion in your message–wish the employee a happy birthday, congratulate them earnestly, or thank them for a job well done. These gestures get noticed, and they’re a simple and cost-effective way to make your gift feel even more special.