People giving each other a holiday gift

5 Holiday Gift Options for Employees 

November 29, 2023

The holiday season offers a unique opportunity to express appreciation for your employees' hard work and dedication. Recognizing their efforts not only fosters employee happiness but can also significantly enhance productivity, engagement, well-being, and overall business outcomes.

A study by Quantum Workplace revealed that 53% of U.S. employees desire more recognition from their managers. Moreover, Deloitte's 2020 “Global Human Capital Trends” survey found that 93% of respondents, including HR directors and C-suite leaders, believe that when employees feel respected and treated fairly, organizational performance benefits.

Additionally, a SurveyMonkey study showed that 82% of employed adults consider recognition vital for workplace happiness, and as a result, feel happier, leading to improved workplace relationships and productivity. These findings highlight the importance of meaningful employee recognition in the workplace and suggest that gifts, as a form of recognition, can be highly effective in enhancing employee satisfaction and organizational success. However, finding the right gift can be challenging.

It's not about the cost; it's about the thoughtfulness behind the gesture. According to Recognition Professionals International, the average budget for employee recognition per employee is $30-$50. High-performing companies can average up to $150 per employee. Whatever your budget may be, it’s important to make your employees feel as if you took time to think of and recognize them.

To make this task easier, here are five thoughtful and effective gift ideas to consider.

Gift Ideas for Employees This Holiday Season

1. Gift Card

Tried and true, gift cards are a versatile and appreciated option. But instead of just gifting employees a random gift card, try to understand and uncover what brands they truly value. This offers employees the freedom to choose what they truly want or need. Whether it's for a favorite restaurant, a retail store, or an online platform, a gift card caters to the individual preferences of each employee. For instance, a study by the Retail Gift Card Association found that over 90% of U.S. consumers are as excited to receive a gift card as they are to receive a traditional gift. This flexibility makes gift cards an excellent choice for diverse teams.

2. Personalized Swag from Favorite Brands

Personalized items from brands that your employees love can be a hit. Whether it's apparel, accessories, or gadgets, customizing these items adds a personal touch that shows you've put thought into the gift. For example, a branded hoodie or a personalized tech gadget from a popular brand can make your employees feel valued and appreciated. Personalization has been shown to increase the emotional connection people have with a product, making it a more memorable and valued gift.

3. Experiences

Offering experiences, such as tickets to events, trips, or other special activities (fun holiday parties for the company and significant others, etc.), can create lasting memories. Experiences are unique gifts that cater to the interests and hobbies of your employees. According to a study published in the "Journal of Consumer Research," experiential gifts can enhance relationships more than material gifts because they provide an opportunity for the recipient to experience something new and exciting, often leading to shared stories and memories.

4. Charitable Donations

Making a charitable donation in the name of an employee can be a deeply meaningful gift, especially for those who are passionate about certain causes. This type of gift reflects a recognition of the employee's values and a commitment to social responsibility by the organization. A report by Charities Aid Foundation revealed that giving to charity not only benefits the recipients but also enhances the giver's happiness and sense of purpose. Charitable donations can also further an employees connection to the companies mission and values.

5. Home and Office Enhancements

In the new modern workplace, more and more employees are working from home, making it difficult to foster organizational culture and loyalty. However, this also makes it easier to offer gifts that cater to their unique needs. For remote or hybrid employees, gifts that enhance their home or office space can be particularly thoughtful. Items like ergonomic chairs, smart home devices, or decorative elements can improve their work-from-home experience. A study by the Harvard Business Review highlighted that comfortable and personalized workspaces can significantly improve productivity and job satisfaction.


Choosing the right holiday gifts for your employees is about understanding their preferences and enhancing their work-life balance. The holiday season presents a unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your employees. Whether it's through a simple gift card, a personalized item, a unique experience, a charitable gesture, or an enhancement for their workspace, each of these gifts can make a significant impact. Make this holiday season memorable and meaningful for your team by choosing gifts that resonate with their preferences and enhance their work-life balance.

If you’re still stuck and unsure of how to get the most out of your budget while offering employees meaningful recognition, then we got you covered. Inspirus' Connects Celebrates program, a comprehensive gifting solution, offers an online gift catalog with over 100 million options, curated to fit your budget. It simplifies the gifting process, ensuring your employees receive their chosen gift delivered to their preferred location. This personalized approach not only caters to individual preferences but also aligns with the importance of recognition in the workplace. By leveraging such innovative solutions, you can make this holiday season memorable and meaningful for your team, thereby fostering a positive and productive work environment. For more information about Inspirus’ Connects Celebrates, please click here.

Happy Holidays!

Boost Employee Happiness with a Meaningful Gift This Holiday Season. Celebrate employees with a special gift from the brands they know and love.