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12 Employee Appreciation Ideas [Updated Nov. 2023]

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After all, think of where your business would be if you didn’t have any employees at all.

Are you struggling to come up with a good idea for employee appreciation – something that demonstrates how much you care for and appreciate them? Take a look at our list of the 12 best gift ideas for national employee appreciation day! 

1. A Gift Card from Amphy

Amphy offers hundreds and hundreds of online classes with such variety that anyone can find a class they would enjoy taking.


Treat your employees to an Amphy gift card to help them explore their passions outside of work, whether it’s an online dance class, a language course, or some fun instruction on how to make your own sushi. An e-gift card like this is an effective way to put a smile on your employee’s face and show appreciation.

gift card for amphy that says 'learn anything'

2. Throw a Party


Even those who love their job can recognize the mundanity of the everyday work schedule. On employee appreciation day, make it a day at work that your employees won’t want to miss.


Host a fabulous office party with decorations, favors, and a nice speech to your staff.


If you can’t afford to waste the workday with distractions, organize a gathering after work at the local pub or restaurant. Employees can bring their families to a catered event with great food and fun drinks on your dime. Learn more about planning the most fantastic party for your staff here on Amphy. 

3. Desk Plants

You can never go wrong with flowers to show someone your appreciation, but flowers eventually die and the excitement is temporary.

Gift your employees with small plants, such as succulents or small potted flowers, that they can keep on their desks to brighten up their day.

Add a personalized tag to each plant for a nice touch.

4. Breakfast Buffet

Set up a lovely breakfast buffet in the office or the breakroom to surprise your employees on the morning of Employee Appreciation Day.


If your employees are anything like the 31 million U.S. adults who skip breakfast in the morning, they’ll be thrilled to see a buffet packed with danishes, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, fruit, and more.


Don’t forget the coffee!

5. Tumblers & Goodies

If you have a small staff to buy for, you can up the ante a bit and spring for some more expensive gifts. Get each of your employees a nice tumbler; you can even make them customized.


Fill the tumbler with chapsticks, small lotion bottles, candy, fun pens, and post-it notes. It’s sure to put a smile on your employees’ faces.

6. A Half-Day

Employee Appreciation Day is not a national holiday, so business runs as usual on this day. But, it is a Friday, so a nice gift to show your appreciation could be to let your staff leave at lunch and start their weekends early.


This isn’t possible for all businesses, of course, but if you can swing it, there’s nothing a hard-working employee loves more than some extra (paid!) time off.

7. Hire a Masseuse for the Day

Your employees work hard, and with hard work comes a lot of stress and not a lot of time for personal care. Surprise your employees by hiring a couple of masseuses for the day.


Employees can take turns getting their troubles (and aches and pains) rubbed away in the break room and return to their work refreshed and ready to go.


Not only is this gift unique, but it’s something that not a lot of people will buy for themselves.

8. A New Coffee System

A whopping 86% of America’s workers are fueled by coffee. Instead of handing out individual gifts on employee appreciation day, give the whole staff a brand-new, multi-functional coffee system for the office.


You can also invest in an attractive coffee station stocked with new mugs, biscotti, sugar, creamer, and high-quality coffee.


Be sure to include some nice tea options for those who don’t like coffee; make it a place that every employee can enjoy.

9. Gift Cards

You can never go wrong with a gift card – especially when you’re trying to figure out what to get a team of employees who all have different interests and hobbies.


You can make things easy by getting preloaded Visa cards, which lets your employees spend their money on anything they want.


You can also go classic by handing out Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift cards.

10. Vacation Days

Maybe you can’t afford to give your whole team the day off for Employee Appreciation Day, but you can still give them the gift of time and relaxation.


Announce to your employees that you’re adding X number of vacation days to each of their accounts. Doing this allows them to plan a family vacation or simply take some “me time” as a reward for their hard work.

11. Planners & Pens

Anyone in the workforce knows you can never have too many planners or pens. Show your appreciation to your employees by making their lives a little easier with a fancy new planner and a set of great pens.


Leave a planner and pen on each employee’s desk with a small thank-you note to start their day off right.

12. Employee Awards

Hard-working employees like to be recognized for all of their hard work. Show how much you truly care by coming up with specific employee awards for each of your team members.


Get some real awards (they don’t have to be huge) and give them out on employee appreciation day. To get you started, you can have a “Best All-Around” award, a “Funniest Co-Worker” award, a “Best Email Responder” award, and more.


Get creative, make things fun, and hand out small gifts like chocolate bars, journals, colorful sticky notes, mugs, and more.

Appreciate Your Employees

As an owner of a business, large or small, it can sometimes feel difficult to connect with your employees and show them how grateful you are for their hard work.

This article provides you the best ideas to display your gratitude with a little special something.


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