30 Meaningful Employee Holiday Gift Ideas for 2021 

Oct 25

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There’s nothing like a thoughtful, unique holiday gift to make employees feel appreciated as the year winds down.

Given the ongoing global supply chain issues, it’s important to organize your holiday gifts for employees now so that they arrive on time.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the best employee gift ideas for 2021.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

According to Harvard Business Review, 40% of employees report that they would work harder if they were recognized more often.

Hubspot reports an even stronger sentiment – 69% of employees said they would put more energy into work if their efforts received more recognition.

Fortunately, the upcoming holiday season is a perfect opportunity to show your workforce that you appreciate the commitment and energy they’ve shown throughout the year. There are dozens of creative, meaningful gift ideas for employees that will help them see how much you value them.

Not only will your team feel appreciated, it’s likely that your gift-giving gestures will result in a boost of productivity to close out the year. Holiday gifts can also establish a sense of togetherness and teamwork, and increase your brand awareness and loyalty.

But finding the perfect corporate holiday gift can be challenging. There are boundaries when it comes to professional gift-giving, and it can be confusing to walk the line between appreciative and a little too personal.

Read on to learn more about some of our favorite employee holiday gift ideas.

Inspirational Gift Ideas

No matter where your team works or what they enjoy, there are gift ideas for nearly everyone. Check out some of the best we’ve found from the Thriver marketplace and around the web.

Work from Home Gifts

Here are a few unique gifts for employees who work from home.

  1. Work-from-Home Snack Box

If the monotony of working from home is putting a damper on your team’s morale, try boosting their mood with a curated snack box.

Snack boxes are a great holiday gift box for employees. It offers exciting and unique treats like plant-based chocolate and oat milk lattes, and comes in two sizes. They start at around $25 per box.

  1. Work-from-Home Beauty Box

One of the perks of working from home is the ability to take a more casual approach to getting ready for work. That being said, sweatpants every day can take its toll – there’s truth to the old adage, “Look good, feel good!”

Two corporate gift boxes filled with different wellness and skincare products

A unisex beauty and skincare box can help your team refresh and revitalize for the year ahead. This kind of gift starts at around $25 per box, but can run on the higher end depending on which products you choose for the boxes.

Wellness Packages

A wellness package can be a great corporate holiday gift that shows your employees how much you care about their well-being.

This kind of gift can have mood-boosting effects on the entire workplace – employees with mental health concerns have shown to be 26% less productive and 32% less engaged than their colleagues. A wellness package like the ones outlined here can show your employees that they’re appreciated and put the spark back in their step.

  1. Curated Wellness Box

Some companies offer custom-curated wellness boxes that will help your employees take care of their health in a more holistic manner.

Look for wellness boxes with customizable themes like Relaxation & Zen, Harmonious Sleep, and General Wellness. Boxes start at $100 each.

  1. Wellness Coaching

If you have it in the budget, you can also gift your employees with a personalized wellness coaching package.

This kind of gift is better for smaller teams – they’re usually capped at around 20 participants and can run over $1500 for the group. Still, there are some valuable take-homes – most offer a 20-minute Zoom coaching session and a post-session personalized action plan for each participant.

  1. Plants & Flowers

A 2007 study found that plants can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, making indoor plants a wonderful option for employee gift-giving.

There are a wide variety of beautiful indoor plants to suit even the pickiest plant lover. This orchid is a great place to start, and a steal at $34.99 each.

Food & Treat Gifts

Food and treats are an easy way to please the masses, and can run the gamut from caffeinated to boozy to over-the-top indulgent.

  1. Coffee Box

You’d be hard-pressed to find an employee that wouldn’t appreciate a box of artisan coffee.

Two company gift boxes with cup, tea, coffee, cookies and other treats

You can find a custom-curated coffee box on Thriver’s marketplace that includes a bag of the world’s oldest coffee blend, a beautiful gold coffee scoop, a few snacks, and a notepad for morning list-making. Boxes start at $88 per person.

  1. Tea Box

Thriver also offers a tea-themed holiday gift for staff.

This tea box includes a box of tea, eucalyptus honey and a wooden dipper, and a beautiful tea mug. These start at $88 per box.

  1. Bakery Sweets

There are a multitude of well-known bakeries that offer worldwide shipping on a huge variety of mouthwatering treats for your team.

Some of the treats are seasonal, like the Fall Assorted Truffle Box, but all are mouth-wateringly delicious. The most affordable option starts at around $25 per gift.

  1. Wine & Snack Pairing

For those looking for a gift with a bit more “spirit,” check out a wine pairing box, which includes a bottle of white wine, black olive paté, and other thoughtfully-paired snacks.

Corporate gift set that consists of wine bottle, olives and various snacks

Boxes start at $100 per person.

  1. International Baskets

It can be difficult to send holiday gifts for staff when your team is spread all over the world.

International gift baskets are a great way to show each and every team member that they matter. The most wide-reaching companies ship their baskets to over 200 countries, and offer a variety of themes like Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Diwali. These baskets start at about $65 per box, plus shipping.

  1. Upscale Mug

The mug is a gift as old as time – unfortunately, it’s become a symbol for “I forgot to get you something.” Fortunately, companies like Hydroflask and Yeti are giving it new life.

These high-end mug, cup, and tumbler companies offer a variety of drinking receptacles that keep beverages at the drinker’s preferred temperature. You also have the option to include your brand on some of their products.

This is a great gift for the masses – high-end and quite useful, but easy enough to take care of everyone in one fell swoop. Small mugs start at around $25.

SWAG Gifts

SWAG gets a bad reputation, but can actually be a thoughtful and useful gift, when curated correctly. Check out some of the high-quality packages offered on Thriver’s marketplace.

  1. Starter Pack

If you’re a new team or company, you may want to gift your employees a starter SWAG package. This one includes a tee-shirt, water bottle, tote bag, and branded sticker decals.

Corporate branded t-shirt, tote bag, water bottle and laptop with a company logo

These basic boxes are a great gift idea for employees if you’re on a budget – they start at only $30 per person.

  1. Elite Event SWAG

On the other end of the spectrum is elite SWAG. High-quality SWAG packages are customizable starting at $200 per person, and can include heavy-duty jackets, tumblers, blankets, backpacks, and more.

  1. Work-from-Home SWAG

Work-from-home SWAG needs to have that special something – the allure of the one tee-shirt that’s better than all the rest. Customizable SWAG boxes can be catered to work-from-home employees, making them a great holiday gift for remote staff. Boxes are priced according to the custom SWAG and gift selections.

Fitness Gifts

Help your employees keep those endorphins flowing while staving off holiday weight gain with fitness-based corporate holiday gifts.

  1. Yoga Class

A yoga class is a great gift option because it’s accessible to everyone.

Two persons meditating

A chair yoga and meditation class is a great low-key option – all you need is a chair! The class costs $399 for any number of participants and runs for 45 minutes.

  1. HIIT Class

For those looking for something more intense, a virtual HIIT fitness class may fit the bill. The class costs $240 for a minimum of 10 employees, and welcomes all levels of fitness. Participants will need a mat or towel for exercises.

  1. IV Drip

Here’s an office holiday idea that’s a little bit off the beaten path, but will be appreciated nonetheless – an in-office IV drip party!

This IV drip event costs $299 per person, and claims to strengthen immune systems, hydrate your skin, reduce stress, and aid in weight loss.

Seasonal

There are some employee holiday gift baskets that are designed for a specific season or time of year. These can be a great way to show your staff that you planned their gift with thought and attention to detail.

  1. Holiday Paint & Sip

Hosting a virtual holiday-themed painting party is a unique team gift for work. It’s a great team-building activity, and your staff can keep the painting for themselves or wrap it as a gift for a loved one.

A person painting a picture

There are painting parties that can work for just about any budget, starting at about $28 per person.

  1. Custom Wrapping Paper

Gift your employees with a creative employee gift by hosting a custom wrapping paper creation party. Participants can design their own holiday wrapping paper with messages, photos, and more, and will walk away with a gorgeous 2’ x 2’ sheet of custom paper.

Experiences start at $145 per person.

  1. Winter Box

A toasty hot chocolate box is a great corporate Christmas and holiday gift.

Starting at $76/box, this gift includes a mug, a hand towel, hot chocolate mix, and cookies – perfect for the first snow of the season!

  1. Wreath-Making Party

There’s no better way to get your staff in the holiday spirit (and give a thoughtful gift while you’re at it) by hosting a wreath-making party. These can be run virtually or on-site, and most include delivery of supplies to each participant’s home.

Parties start at about $110 per person.

Games & Entertainment

Providing a night of fun and laughter is one of the best holiday gifts for employees. Not only will your staff feel appreciated by the gesture of a night “out,” but these events can also take care of some team-building and bonding.

  1. Game Night

Give your employees a fun virtual “night out” with a game night.

A person smiling and drinking coffee while taking part in a virtual game in front of their laptop

Events like these start at around $25 per person; the one linked here includes three rounds of play with different games.

  1. Trivia Night

For a company holiday gift with a more competitive flavor, try a team trivia night from Thriver’s marketplace.

This event runs for 60 minutes and includes a professional game host, and costs only $20 per person.

  1. Murder Mystery

Engage your team in a whodunnit adventure with a murder mystery event.

These kinds of parties are relatively affordable, starting at around $30 per person, and can be enjoyed virtually or on-site.

  1. Virtual Mind Reading

For a unique corporate holiday gift idea, try a virtual mind-reading event. The one that Thriver offers is interactive, completely spontaneous, and customizable in advance.

This event costs $5,000 for parties of any size.

Inspirational Gift Ideas from Other Companies

Check out some of the ways well-known brands have approached their company December holiday gifts.

  1. Company Products

Google is well-known for using its own products for company Christmas gifts. In the past, Google employees have received the Nexus 5X, the Razr M, and the Chromebook.

If your product or service could be of value or delight to your staff, consider offering it as the company holiday gift. This would go an especially long way if you sell big-ticket, non-niche items that everyone can use.

  1. Charitable Gifting

In recent years, Google has moved away from giving branded products as company holiday gifts for employees, and is instead making donations to various charities under their employees’ names.

Depending on your employee demographics, you might consider doing the same. Poll your staff to find out what causes are most important to them, and make a generous contribution in their honor.

  1. Cash Bonus

There’s no polite way to say this – cash is probably the #1 universally-adored company gift for employees. Cash is king – there is honestly no better gift to give than an extra check at the end of the year.

A person putting a coin into a piggy bank

If business is booming, consider divvying up part of your profits to reward your employees for all of their hard work.

  1. Company-Themed Gift

The drinking glass company GunShot, which makes drinking glasses embedded with real bullets inside the glass, offered each of their employees a gun for a holiday gift.

We’re certainly not saying that you should do the same – GunShot likely hires from a very niche subset of employees, and not everyone would appreciate a gun as a gift – but you can consider giving a similar company-adjacent gift. This kind of corporate holiday gift for employees will give a nod to your field of work, but also show your staff that you went beyond simply giving them the company product.

  1. High-End Brands

Some companies offer something basic for their company gift for employees – think chocolate or pens – but ramp it up to Level 100 by choosing the priciest option available.

Falcon Private Bank, for example, has offered Mont Blanc pens ($1,000 a pop) and treats from ultra-high-end Chocolat Général Guisan.

You can spruce up an otherwise boring gift by taking it high-end.

Conclusion

The market for corporate gifts is enormous – $125 billion dollars. This is great news! It means there are a multitude of options for your company holiday gifts for employees.

Remember, it’s the thought (and timing!) that counts – the important part is that you make the gesture and let your employees know that you appreciate and celebrate them.

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