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Creative Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas To Liven Up Your Workplace

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Sometimes as an entrepreneur, supervisor, or business owner, special occasions arise where you’ll feel ever so compelled to give back. From holidays to birthdays to promotions to weddings to retirements, you’ll want the morale of your staff to feel heard, welcomed, and appreciated for all of their achievements and hard work. A myriad of surveys, studies, and statistics could be reiterated on the subject, but frankly, isn’t it common sense? When someone imagines some much-coveted “fruits of their labor,” they visualize a genuinely fruitful, bountiful crop of reward, not some bland, dry, arid fetid compost of rot. If you operate out of Chicago or in Illinois, then BONNAGE has plenty of locally-tailored gifts to appeal to your regional sensibilities. Even so, here are some ideas for creative employee appreciation gifts which should please the crowd no matter where you’re working. 

Graphic Merchandise 

Nothing says a team like a unifying logo, insignia, or crest of arms to bind the team together, and where better to place that logo than in the form of usable, hangable or wearable merchandise? Some creative employee appreciation gifts could include coffee mugs, reusable water bottles, and custom t-shirts from Dallas. If you’re not graphic design-savvy, no fear; the average cost for a single graphic logo is $100, pocket change in the grand totality of your office budget. For an extra boost of comradery and some friendly, creative competition, allow your staff members to have a say over pitching, creating, and voting on logo merchandise design. Not only will this help promote happiness and commonality in the workplace, but according to the Exeter University School of Psychology, it promotes 32% more productivity! 

Local Entertainment 

If you’re a city-based business, the odds are that you aren’t too far from some local fun. Know any avid sports fans? Get some tickets to the big game. Know any cinephiles? Consider some movie passes for the midnight premiere. Audiophiles? Give them concert tickets when their favorite artists are in town. History heads? Museum tickets! Does your staff have any particular favorite dining or drinking establishment after work? Gift cards, plain and sample. For “creative” employee appreciation gifts these may seem like derivative no brainers, but they’re foolproof no-brainers, without fail. 


Around 4 in 10 (nearly half of all) Americans are struggling to afford to make basic ends meet, including health care, food, housing expenses, utilities, and other expenditures. If you are the owner of a struggling middle-class startup, you may, unfortunately, be unable to raise your employee’s wages in a fully-supportive, optimal way. However, there’s still plenty of other meaningful gestures to express your care about their wellbeing. If the area’s heavily reliant on laundromats, consider covering a hefty wash surcharge. Paid housekeeping is another win-win; no one wants a mountain of more work on their plate after work, so reward them that generosity by also rewarding small working-class business in return. For mental health & R&R, consider extended PTO or sleep-in days, and of course, who doesn’t like free food? 

Giving Back by Giving Back 

Sometimes the best creative employee appreciation gifts are the ones showing appreciation for others. Reward your staff with the means to pledge a donation for the charitable/fundraising/human rights causes of their choice, use sites like CharityNavigator to evaluate the best organizations for those causes, and voila! 

Happy gift hunting! 

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