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Top Gift Ideas to Show Appreciation

A little appreciation goes a long way. We recently began an appreciation initiative, to come up with appreciation gift ideas at our office after a little incident we’d been having during our Zoom meetings.

The entire company is remote, so Zoom is pretty much our holy grail. There was just one problem…

We began noticing that a lot of people kept their cameras off during meetings and were running errands during the meeting.

So to solve this problem, a new rule was implemented that everyone had to keep their cameras on during meetings.

A lot of employees expressed that they didn’t feel comfortable showing their faces during meetings. One mentioned that it was because she was too worried about what she looked like to concentrate on the actual meeting. Another said that he didn’t like having his camera on because he didn’t want everyone to see his unkempt house and unfolded laundry in the background. 

zoom app on phone with headphones

So since they were forced to have their cameras on, they resorted to using Zoom “filters” to hide their faces. But this only proved to be distracting. 

As a way to make up for the chaos caused by forcing employees to turn their cameras on, our boss decided to implement an employee appreciation program in collaboration with HR. They decided that appreciation gifts would help boost morale. So HR got to work planning appreciation gift ideas.

Here’s what they came up with unique appreciation gift ideas:

  1. Personalized water bottle
  2. Aroma candle
  3. Snack gift basket
  4. Trendy keychain
  5. Magazine subscription
  6. Personalized business card holder
  7. Gift coupon massage or spa treatment
  8. Stylish umbrella
  9. Set of high-quality, comfortable socks
  10. Custom-made calendar with artwork
  11. Reusable tote bag
  12. Insulated lunch bag
  13. Fancy coffee or tea mug
  14. Cozy blanket for their desk chair
  15. Portable phone charging dock
  16. Personalized desk accessories
  17. Premium pen
  18. Motivational quote cards
  19. Fitness tracker
  20. Thankyou note

Boss Gift Ideas

Oh, it’s key to the story to mention that the entire Zoom fiasco coincided with our boss’ birthday. So while HR and our boss are trying to brainstorm appreciation gifts for all of us working from home, we’re trying to come up with boss gift ideas. 

gift boxes

As cliche as it is, we love our boss. Which is why we dedicated hours to searching for the perfect gift for her. We searched for “gift ideas for boss female” and found nothing that seemed right for her, so we even tried “gift ideas for boss male” – hoping that we’d find something other than a pink sign that says “girl boss.” 

When searching for a “unique gift for the boss”, we came across the option to build a custom snack basket. We decided that this was the perfect gift for her. 

Appreciation Gift Ideas For Employees

So while we were planning our boss’ birthday appreciation gift, She and HR were busy looking for unique employee appreciation gifts, hoping that the appreciation incentives would boost morale after the drama with the zoom filters that have been popping up on everyone’s screen ever since we were forced to turn on our cameras.   

While HR was busy brainstorming appreciation gift ideas for employees, our boss decided that she had had enough of the Zoom filter fiasco and decided that on top of the appreciation gifts, she would allow us to turn our cameras off during meetings if it made us feel more comfortable. Only she decided to wait until we all received our employee appreciation gifts to make that announcement…sort of like a bonus appreciation gift!

Appreciation Gift Ideas For Clients

So the day that our boss was going to announce the employee appreciation gifts and the reversal of the “camera on” rule, just so happened to be the same day that we were having her gift basket delivered to her office. We were so excited to see her reaction.

Ironically enough, this day also happened to be the day that appreciation gift ideas for customers was on the meeting agenda. So while we were discussing appreciation gift ideas for clients, our boss suggested a branded swag kit as one of the thoughtful thank you gift ideas for clients. At this time, we realize that it’s one minute from noon – the time that our boss’ gift is scheduled to be delivered. So one of our coworkers quickly interrupted our boss’ thought about the personalized thank you gifts to suggest an Appreciation Gift Box – because that’s the gift that was about to be delivered to our boss. 

But before the employee could finish their buildup for our boss’ surprise appreciation gift, our boss interjects and says “surprise!” and proceeds to shut her camera off. We then heard her say, “I’ve decided to reverse the camera rule!” 

Of course, the very moment that she turned her camera off happened to be when her birthday appreciation gift was delivered. We could hear the knocking on the door and the delivery person as they handed her the gift box. So, we never did get to see our boss’ reaction to her gift. 

Inexpensive Thank You Gift Ideas

Our boss was so thankful for the appreciation gift and felt terrible that we didn’t get to see her reaction. She decided to think of some small thank you gift ideas that she could send to everyone on the team to make up for the fiasco. At the very same time, we were brainstorming thank-you gift ideas for our boss. We also felt bad that we ruined her big unveiling of the employee appreciation surprise with our gift delivery to her.  We debated between a few different inexpensive thank you gift ideas, but eventually settled on a custom-branded item with thoughtful personal messages. In true fashion, our boss ironically ended up giving us the same exact branded swag item as a thank-you gift. I don’t think we’ve ever had so many coincidences in our office in one week!

Unusual Thank You Gifts

If you’re searching for unusual thank-you gifts to give, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for appreciation gift ideas for her, appreciation gift ideas for him or thank you gift ideas for friends, here are 4 unusual thank you and appreciation gift ideas: 

These are just a few gifts that we’ve received via our newly implemented employee appreciation program and in addition are perfect choices for employee appreciation day. But our favorite gift of all is not having to turn our cameras on during meetings – phew! 

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to show employee appreciation?

Employee appreciation is so important and it can be expressed in various different ways. Appreciation can be as informal as a verbal expression or as formal as a handwritten employee appreciation message. Employers can also show appreciation to employees through employee appreciation gifts, employee appreciation incentive programs – such as employee of the month or week – maintenance of a positive work culture and employee benefits. Employee appreciation should also be expressed on a regular basis so that employees know that their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. 

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