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9 Employee Appreciation Gifts That Can Help Get Through Hard Times

9 Employee Appreciation Gifts That Can Help Get Through Hard Times

When times get tough, employees face overwhelm and burnout. Whether the crisis is happening inside your company or in the world at large, your team needs to feel appreciated. Employee appreciation gifts are one way to show your team that you fully recognize the situation and appreciate their dedication in the midst of it.

If your team members don’t feel valued for toughing out a crisis, productivity can deteriorate–as well as the quality of any work that actually does get done. The good news is, this is a completely preventable problem–and it only takes a small time investment to help boost your team’s morale.

Let’s take a look at a few employee appreciation gifts to help your team tough out hard times and bring a little brightness into their lives.

1. High-Quality Branded Swag

Pieces of high-quality, branded swag make fantastic employee appreciation gifts. Gifting your team with branded items that are both useful and long-lasting will make them feel valued.

There are many services that create corporate branded swag. One excellent choice is Swag.com, a site where you can create a number of items, from North Face jackets and hoodies to Moleskine journals and YETI tumblers.

Swag.com also has a feature that allows you to create a box of swag to ship to employees on your team. This is a great option if your team works remotely, rather than in an office setting.

2. Sweet Treats

Sending treats to your team–such as candies or baked goods–can be the perfect pick-me-up. Cookies make great employee appreciation gifts, and you can have them delivered to your office or shipped to your remote team.

Christie Cookie Co., based in Nashville, TN, offers branded cookie tins (and delicious cookies!) for businesses. They have a stellar customer support staff. When you open a corporate account, you’ll be assigned a representative who will work one-on-one with you each time you need to have cookies shipped to a team member.

If you’re gifting food items such as snacks or treats to your team, make sure you get familiar with any food allergies or food-related issues your employees might have. Take note of individuals who are gluten free or diabetic, for example, then make accommodations for them. (Christie Cookie Co., for example, offers some gluten free cookies.)

3. Remote Corporate Fitness Program

Investing in a remote fitness program for your team demonstrates that you value their wellness. And when you’re facing a difficult time, it’s more important than ever for them to take care of themselves physically. If you’re a remote team scattered across the country, video-based programs could be a strong choice among employee appreciation gifts.

BurnAlong offers a corporate wellness program that allows your team members to tune into video workouts together or invite their friends and family to join in. The program features hundreds of workouts to choose from and includes 12 months’ worth of challenges to keep your team members engaged.

4. Team Access to a Self-Care App

A self-care app that helps your team members to meditate or practice mindfulness is a wonderful way to provide each individual with compassionate support during a hard time. Programs such as Headspace and Calm have corporate portals your team can access when they need a quiet moment to re-center.

Difficult times often lead to anxiety and difficulty focusing at work, so mental self-care is critical. Giving your team tools to help them overcome these obstacles will help them to feel supported.

5. Extra Time Off Work

One of the best employee appreciation gifts you can give your team during a difficult time is additional time to step away from work. When we’re dealing with a stressful situation–especially a prolonged one–we’re more likely to burn out, or even to suffer from health problems as a result. If you’re able, offering a little extra off time to your employees could prove to be an invaluable, unforgettable gift.

6. Upgraded Tech Tools

If your corporate or office budget allows for it, upgrading or adding to your employees’ tech tools shows them you’re dedicated to helping them do their best work possible–with the best tools. Consider upgrading their laptops, providing new tablets, or purchasing other tools that will make their jobs easier and more enjoyable.

7. Gift Cards

Sending a gift card to eahc member of your team, along with a thank-you card, is a kind gesture that makes a positive impression. You can give your team gift cards to a restaurant you all enjoy, a recreational activity, or just a generic gift card they can use where they like. Before you buy, make sure you’re compliant with any corporate policies around the amount of money you put on the cards.

8. Pay Bonuses

One of the best employee appreciation gifts you can give your team, whether you’re facing a difficult time or not, is a pay bonus. Especially during hard times, though, extra pay can make a powerful impact.

Some challenging times affect the economy adversely. If you have the wiggle room in your budget and your team members are facing economic struggles, that would be an ideal time to give them a pay bump–even if it’s only a one-time bonus.

9. Company Retreat

Company retreats are a wonderful way to show your team that you appreciate them. They provide an opportunity to unplug from the daily grind, unwind, and bond together over an enjoyable experience. You can opt for a local, one-day retreat offsite or organize a full, multi-day trip out of state–or even out of the country.

When it comes to creating a company retreat that’s right for your team, you can get creative, have fun gathering ideas, and craft an experience your team will truly enjoy.

Over to You

There are so many choices for employee appreciation gifts that truly show your team how valuable they are. This is paramount during difficult times when your team is being tested to its limits.

As a quick recap, here are several gift ideas you can consider:

  • Branded swag
  • Candies or baked goods
  • Access to a remote fitness program
  • Team self-care app
  • Extra off time
  • Upgraded tech tools
  • Pay bonuses
  • Company retreat

When in doubt, ask your team members what they want or need. Then, you can tailor your employee appreciation gifts to their greatest needs in that moment.

What are some of the best employee appreciation gifts you’ve either given or received? Let us know in the comments!

Article thumbnail image by Tetiana Yurchenko / shutterstock.com

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