Gifts for Employees Are a Must

The stats are in! If our Business Gifting Strategy Report has convinced you that you need to select gifts for employees strategically 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.

Make Gifts for Employees Memorable & Meaningful

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).

Here’s How

We’ll show you how to create unique employee appreciation gifts that you can give for staff recognition 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

Daydream Believer

Send a gift that encourages great ideas and big dreams. The gift includes two journals –  the BIG Idea Sketchbook with blank pages for sketching and scribing, and a smaller notebook with gridded pages for keeping track of everything from the events of the day to lofty life goals. Capture it all with a black lacquer rollerball pen and be inspired with the Leap of Faith candle, which has a fresh tropical passionfruit, dragonfruit, and honeysuckle scent.

Black TieBlack Tie Gift Set

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.

Three Little Figs

Paying tribute to the original fable, we’ve created a gift where each “little fig” has its own appetizer, and luckily, there’s no wolf huffing and puffing. This wonderful gift set is a welcome treat for anyone who loves succulent, sweet figs. The fig-based appetizer assortment features vegan fig salami, fig preserves with a hint of bay leaf, and fig and olive crackers. The tasty trio makes a wonderful presentation on the included slate cheese board.

Black coffee press, mints, and Stumptown coffee beansWake 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.

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.


Wine To Go

As far as we’re concerned, there are two rules to tote bags: 1. you can never have too many, and 2. you really ought to have at least one tote bag specifically dedicated to bringing wine to a picnic–that way, you’ll never forget it! This Wine To Go gift set is an easy and stylish way to transport and enjoy your favorite wine (undercover, because we all know there are some places wine bottles just can’t go!). We’ve paired Corkcicle’s 25 oz Copper Canteen with 2 Stemless Wine Cups, all ready to be stashed in the Mercantile 12 DRINK Recycled Tote Bag. All that’s left to do now is pick your favorite bottle, pour, travel, and enjoy!


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.

Beautiful in Brass

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. The stainless steel bowl with a black and gold finish completes a refined presentation and easily holds a delicious spread or soft cheeses, dips, or nuts. Sturdy black and gold cheese knives complement the set.

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.

Salami Sampler Gift Set

Whether you’re bringing food for a party or thanking the office, this savory spread is sure to please. They’ll enjoy four selections of salami including OLLI Salumeria’s Calabrese Salame and Toscano Fennel Salami, Salt Blade’s Seattle Stick pork salami infused with dark chocolate and coffee, and a savory vegan fig salami from Hellenic Farms. We’ve also included three types of artisan crackers, classic mustard, artichoke dip and Virginia peanuts dusted with herbs and spices. A great go-to foodie gift that everyone can enjoy. Selection feeds up to 20 people. (Does not include board or bowl.)

Popcorn Snack Medley

OK, so including this one in our ‘top 10 list’ makes it more than 10, but we couldn’t resist adding it in for all the popcorn lovers out there. This gift is perfect for the whole office to share. It 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 to mix all of the above together for the perfect combo of crunchy, salty, sweet, and nutty.

Looking for personal assistance? Contact One Of Our Business Gifting Experts

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. We can help. Set up a personal consultation with a Business Concierge now
  • 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. 
  • Sometimes gift cards are just fine. 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.”
  • Spend appropriately. 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. Our ‘business gift calculator can help you figure exactly what to spend.
  • 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.
  • Always make it personal. 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.