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The WAI Guide to Employee Appreciation Gifts | 8 Unique Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas

Updated: Apr 23

Employee appreciation goes beyond a simple "thank you". Oftentimes, it's about acknowledging their hard work, boosting morale, and fostering a positive company culture. One powerful way to achieve this is through thoughtful employee appreciation gifts. But with so many options available, finding the perfect employee appreciation gift can feel overwhelming. Fear not! This guide will equip you with creative ideas to show your staff you care. No matter your budget or team dynamic, we'll explore a variety of unique gift ideas from physical gifts to experiences. Here's The WAI Guide to Employee Appreciation Gifts.


Importance of Employee Appreciation

In the fast paced and increasingly uncertain world today, keeping your employees happy and engaged is more important than ever. Employee appreciation isn't just about handing out gifts (although that's certainly a perk!). It's a strategic approach to fostering a positive work environment that benefits both your employees and your business. Here's why it matters:

  • Boosts Morale and Engagement: Feeling valued and appreciated motivates employees. Knowing that what you have done has made a meaningful contribution is empowering. When they see their contributions recognized, they naturally feel more excited and invested in the company's success.

  • Increases Productivity: Happy and motivated employees are naturally more productive. Appreciation fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility, leading to improved focus and higher quality work.

  • Reduces Turnover: Highly valued employees are less likely to seek employment elsewhere. Communicating and making them feel valued demonstrates your commitment to their well-being and career growth, fostering loyalty and retention.

  • Strengthens Company Culture: A culture of appreciation creates a positive and supportive work environment for all. Employees feel comfortable taking risks, sharing ideas and collaborating openly - ultimately leading to a stronger and more innovative company.

  • Attracts Top Talent: Recognition for a job well done travels fast. When your company is known for appreciating its employees, it becomes a more attractive place to work, making it easier to recruit and retain top talent.

Investing in employee appreciation is an essential win-win investment in the future of your business. Creating a happier workforce where people wake up excited to contribute and do more goes a long way in building a more successful company. Now, the question that pops up is, what do employees want as appreciation gifts?


What do employees want as appreciation gifts?

While there's no one-size-fits-all answer to what employees desire in appreciation gifts, here's a breakdown of factors to consider:

  • Thoughtfulness over Price: Nothing beats a receiving a thoughtful gift that speaks to you. Employees appreciate gifts that demonstrate you put some thought into their interests and needs hit the spot. Do they have hobbies outside of work? Or interests and passions that they are pursuing? A personalized gift is often more meaningful than a generic, expensive item.

  • Experiences over Tangibles: Opportunities to create lasting memories can sometimes be more valuable than a physical object. Consider gift certificates for activities, event tickets, or even subscriptions to services they would enjoy.

  • Practicality: Don't underestimate the value of useful gifts that can enhance their workday or well-being. Think ergonomic office supplies, tech accessories, or healthy snacks.

  • Company Culture: Is your environment casual or formal? Ensuring alignment with your corporate communications is important for upholding the internal branding and reputation of your company. Choose a gift that aligns with the overall tone.

  • Team Size and Budget: Smaller teams may be more dynamic which gives room for larger gifts on special occasions. For larger teams, consider smaller personalized gifts in higher frequencies or even group experiences for company bonding.

By keeping these points in mind, you can choose appreciation gifts that take into account both micro and macro picture of the organisation. Curating a gift that resonate with your employees truly shows them how much you value their contributions. Here are 8 Unique Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas you can consider for your next appreciation gift.


8 Unique Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas

(1) Beverages & Snacks

Everyone enjoys a tasty treat! By offering a variety of different beverages and snacks, you can cater to dietary needs and preferences. The beauty of this option lies in its flexibility. You can tailor the selection to any budget by offering a curated box of treats or a well-stocked office pantry with healthy snacks and drinks. You could even customise a short message and your corporate logo to express a heartfelt message with Custom Branded Snack Packs. By putting some thought into your beverage and snack selection, you can create a delightful employee appreciation experience that goes beyond just satisfying hunger. 

(2) Charms

While not a conventional gift idea, charms can be a unique form of expressing appreciation and embracing cultural harmony. For example, a pineapple charm can symbolise hospitality and warmth, while a mandarin orange charm can represent good luck and fortune common in Chinese cultures. A ketupat charm can be particularly meaningful as a symbol of harmony and togetherness in Malay cultures. Charms can also be a subtle way to acknowledge achievements and mark milestones for individuals or teams - becoming a memento and cherished keepsake which holds a special meaning for the recipient.

(3) Experiences

A concert ticket, team outing, cultural adventure or even health and wellness experiences (e.g. a spa or a yoga class), experiences are a unique and impactful way to show your employees you care about their well-being and value their contributions. Consider experiences that align with your company values - such as educational workshops to promote continuous learning. Most of all, understand your employee's needs and preferences to pick an experience that speaks to them. Sometimes, asking them through a simple anonymised survey helps too! By gifting experiences, you invest in your employees' well-being, create lasting memories, and show them that you value them as individuals. This unique approach to employee appreciation fosters a positive work environment and a stronger, more connected team.

(4) Gift Cards

A personalised greeting card with well wishes can often be a meaningful way to express your appreciation. Executed well, they can be a elevate the presentation of your gifts. However, often on their own, they do not offer much tangible value. Hence, they are more frequently an accompaniment to other gifts rather than a gift of their own.

(5) Goodie Bags

Adorable, intricate and a presentable gift idea. Goodie bags, filled with a curated selection of treats, are a delightful way to show appreciation. They're a versatile option that can be customized to fit your theme. From beverages, snacks to healthy treats like nuts and dried fruits, you can curate goodie bags that show your employees appreciation in a fun and memorable way.

(6) Gift Boxes

Unboxing a beautifully presented gift creates excitement and anticipation, adding to the appreciation experience. Gift boxes have become a popular choice for employee appreciation, offering a convenient, personalized, and impactful way to show you care. Being attentive and intentional about the product choices to the design makes all the difference in your corporate gift boxes. From nostalgic treats to healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruits, there is a wide variety of ideas to fill your gift boxes with. Customise your gift boxes with your corporate branding and tailor a message based on the theme of your appreciation gift. By utilizing the convenience and customization options, curated gift boxes can be a powerful tool for showing employee appreciation in a way that's both impactful and memorable.

(7) Money Packets

From the Gilded Bloom to Azure Rhapsody Money Packets, elevate your gift-giving with exquisite money envelopes. The soft blue and gold floral embossments add a touch of sophistication to your presentation. Express your well wishes with these reusable money packets from our Floral Symphony collection. Universal and flexible, money packets can be a part of an employee appreciation strategy especially during festive celebrations like Chinese New Year and Hari Raya or personal milestone celebrations like Baby Shower or Weddings. Combine them with other elements like a personal message or small gift for an impactful gesture.

(8) Time (off)

Time off? Yes, you read that right. When it comes to employee appreciation, sometimes the most valuable gift you can give is the gift of time. While tangible gifts and experiences are appreciated, time off gives employees the flexibility to recharge, prioritize personal needs, and return to work feeling refreshed and motivated. Whether it is extra Paid Time Off (PTO), an early dismissal or even a company-wide day off for everyone to disconnect from work, this is a simple yet impactful way to show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication, ultimately leading to a more productive and motivated workforce.


What to Buy for Employee Appreciation Gifts?

Now that you've explored a variety of employee appreciation gift ideas, you're might be overwhelmed with ideas. The question next is "What do I get?". Remember, the most important thing to do is to understand your team's individual needs and preferences. Curating a gift that resonates with your employees truly shows them how much you value their contributions.

Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Tailor it to your team: Consider your employees' interests, company culture, and budget when selecting gifts.

  • Think beyond the tangible: While gifts are appreciated, experiences and even time off can be equally impactful (the small gestures matter.)

  • Presentation matters: Take the time to present your chosen gift thoughtfully, adding a personal touch with a handwritten note or festive packaging.

What gifts have you given or received that were truly meaningful? Have you implemented any creative employee appreciation initiatives at your workplace? We would love to know too - feel free to leave us with ideas that have worked for you and your team. By fostering a culture of appreciation and recognition, you can create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone.

That's why we do what we do here at WAI. With a growing variety of over 100 beverages, charms, money packets, snacks, goodie bags and gift boxes, we seek to make gifting more accessible with gifts themed for each feeling and occasion. All the gifts you see above are available for islandwide gifts delivery on WAI.

We also offer customisations for corporate gifts, for those looking for something much more specific to your corporate gifting needs.

Gifting is more than just the gift itself. Above all else, the intention behind the great wonders is what truly matters. To send a feeling and gift an experience, is why we do what we do. With gifts for every feeling and occasion, we put the emotions into gifts like never before. Beyond the wonders, lies intention. With Wonder and Intention hand in hand, we recreate the magic we crave by always starting with WAI.

Snacks and snack gift boxes you love for every feeling and occasion. Available exclusively on WAI.

WAI (The WAI Company)

Wonder and Intention

Singapore's Best Snacks & Snack Gift Boxes

Send a feeling, gift an experience.


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