22 Unique Employee Appreciation Gifts to Brighten their Day

With high turnover expected to continue across industries in 2022, small gestures that recognize and reward your employees for their hard work and dedication are more important than ever. This includes everything from regular praise and feedback to personalized employee appreciation gifts.

Thoughtful, useful, personalized, and unique employee appreciation gifts are a staff recognition tool that can help improve employee retention and productivity. Employee recognition efforts like customized small gifts cost very little but can have a major impact on both productivity and retention.

Millennials in particular value employee recognition programs that are focused on performance rather than tenure-based reward programs. Research has demonstrated that organizations with strong employee recognition programs have better customer service, lower staff turnover, improved employee productivity, and better overall business performance. Employees who don’t feel appreciated at work are more likely to leave their jobs for other opportunities and more supportive workplaces.

According to Gallup, employee recognition should be individualized: “In order for recognition to be meaningful, it must be tailored to the recipient’s preferences, not the giver’s preferences. Many people prefer tangible rewards or gifts, while others are more moved by words and acknowledgement.” Dedicated employees deserve more than just another cookie cutter show of appreciation. Whether you are searching for motivational gifts for employees, Employee Appreciation Day gifts – or just an inexpensive present to say thank you for a job well done – we’ve put together a guide of the best personalized and unique employee appreciation gifts for 2022 – memorable gifts that don’t look like an afterthought.

The best personalized employee gifts should be useful, attractive, and something they don’t already own. This list includes gifts for every interest and taste – we think you’ll find something special for everyone in your office including some great customizable, inexpensive gifts which can serve as a small gesture of your appreciation. These budget-friendly items can also be bundled together in personalized gift boxes or employee swag packs to create a truly custom gift experience, perfect for showing your regard for each member of your team.

Unique, personalized gifts that provide a tangible reminder of your appreciation include:

Inexpensive Unique Employee Appreciation Gifts

These items are all completely customizable with your company colors and logo. They make distinctive small tokens of appreciation – or add them to a custom swag pack for your employees.

Tumbler Widget

unique employee appreciation gifts - air tag holder

This fidget rolling stick spinner is a great workplace stress reliever and one of our most popular desktop toys. This weighted stick desktop toy has a rubber stopper at each end to help it stand up. It’s perfect for flipping or spinning on any flat surface. One of the best bulk employee appreciation gifts available for 2022.

Apple AirTag Silicone Key Ring

There’s no shame in needing a tracker…for your tracker. Meet the Apple AirTag Silicone Key Ring—making it effortless to attach an Apple AirTag securely to keys, bags, or even a pet’s collar! Available in full-color direct print, this versatile branded gift will win them back precious time and help them find important items (aka lost employee ID badges) on the daily. AirTag not included.

Wheat Straw Utensils & Reusable Straw Set

A trendy eco-friendly gift idea for 2022, this sustainable utensil set is crafted from wheat straw. Perfect for on-the-go lunches, the set includes a carrying case and reusable straw, fork, spoon, and knife. Wheat straw is a natural by-product of wheat harvests that makes a durable and compostable plastic alternative.

Cordless Mini Desk Vacuum

Adorable – and universally useful – cordless mini desktop vacuum. Perfect for keeping your workspace neat and your keyboard clean. Crumbee is another mini desktop vacuum that’s a popular employee gift idea for 2022. Either option makes a useful and fun gift for Employee Appreciation Day.

2-in-1 Carry-On Travel Blanket and Pillow

A small employee recognition gift that was made especially for weary business travelers. Pair this travel blanket and pillow combo with the Aero-Snooze Travel Kit (nylon eye mask, foam earplugs, carrying case) to create a useful, inexpensive, motivating gift for hardworking sales reps.

Jog Strap Velvet Neoprene Smartphone/iPod Holder

An adjustable elastic jog strap that fits iPhone/Android devices; covered in eye-catching Velvet Neoprene which provides a fun vintage look. Features customizable colored stitching and bias trim.

New Tech Gifts for Employees

Corporate tech gifts are ubiquitous for a reason – they are functional, fun, and universally appealing. The latest, on-trend technology items that can be personalized with your company logo in 2022 include:

UV Sanitizer Desk Clock with Wireless Charging

The UV Sanitizer Desk Clock with Wireless Charging is a great accessory for any desk with three functions: wireless smartphone charger, smartphone sanitizer, and digital clock with alarm function. It uses UV-C light technology without chemicals or mercury for sanitation to kill 99% of microorganisms tested. It can sanitize almost anything that fits inside, including iPhones and other large smartphones. Use the top to charge your wireless charging enabled smartphone. Your staff will love both the functionality and trendy nostalgic retro look of this branded gift.

Knocki Wireless Smart Device

Looking for high tech personalized employee appreciation gifts? Knocki may be the answer. Transform everyday surfaces into a remote control with the easy-to-use Knocki smart device. Attach this wireless device to a table, door or wall and the entire surface instantly becomes a touch interface for smart technology.

Auto Object Tracking Phone Holder

unique employee appreciation gifts - smart sunglasses

Place your phone into the adjustable mobile phone stabilizer to capture the perfect photo or video. Through the app, your camera will focus on an object and follow the movement. The phone holder can rotate up to 360 degrees. The adjustable phone holder will fit the newest iPhone and Android mobile devices. The phone holder can adjust from 4.1″ up to 6.5″.

Callaway Smart Glass Sunglasses 

The Callaway Smart Sunglasses combine great tech features with 100% UVA, UVB, UVC ray protection. These smart glasses sync with any Bluetooth enabled device so you can make and receive phone calls. Or listen to music through the built-in speakers; ear bud accessories are also included as well as a lens cloth, carry pouch, and hard case with hanging clip.

Stylish Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas

Unique tote bag alternatives and trendy outerwear are some of the best employee appreciation gift ideas for 2022 – extremely practical yet also fun.

J America Adult Quilted Jersey Shirt Jacket

Shirt jackets are a top apparel trend for 2022. This classic unisex shirt jacket by J. America features a full snap placket with 7 metal snaps; set-on chest pockets; welt side pockets; collar; cuffs with snap.

Oversized Sherpa Fleece Wearable Blanket

unique employee appreciation gifts - backpack with power bank

Wearable blankets are also on-trend for 2022 and make comfortable remote employee appreciation gifts. This oversized wearable blanket is made from ultra-soft and cozy Sherpa fleece – the perfect plush attire for working from home.

Aviana Mini Backpack Cooler

Backpack coolers are a popular insulated lunch bag alternative. This mini backpack cooler by Aviana is the perfect size for schlepping lunch and snacks to the office.

Elevate Soleil Solar Backpack

The Soleil Backpack features a 5W solar panel that allows you to charge your devices while you’re enjoying the outdoors. The cord pass through lets you to charge the included 10000 mAh power bank through the solar panel to ensure you have all the power you need. Also included: a USB port and cable.

Health & Wellness Gifts for Employees

Promoting health and wellness in the workplace has never been more important. These gifts are the perfect way to encourage your employees to relax and practice self-care. These customizable items make meaningful gifts for employees that show that you care about their wellbeing.

HidrateSpark 21 Oz. Bottle with Chug Lid

This BPA-free, vacuum-insulated stainless-steel bottle is designed to keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours. The HidrateSpark 21 Oz. Water Bottle with has an LED Smart Sensor that glows to remind you when it’s time to drink and tracks your water intake by syncing via Bluetooth to the free smartphone app. It features a rechargeable battery and includes a charging cable. Customize the bottle by choosing between unique glow colors and exciting light patterns available within the HidrateSpark app. Other HidrateSpark bottle sizes and designs are also available for customization.

Happy Daylight Desk Lamp

unique employee appreciation gifts - seek peace kit

Truly a unique employee gift for 2022, this daylight lamp simulates sunlight to keep you energetic and focused. Using light therapy during daylight hours in the winter can boost serotonin levels and help keep your circadian rhythm on track.

Modern Sprout Seek Peace Take Care Kit in Lavender 

Plant care and self-care come together in this curated and thoughtful gift set that reminds one to seek peace during hectic days. This kit is all about lavender, a scent which helps people feel calm and relaxed. Each kit includes a self-watering bamboo planter, lavender seeds, calming lavender essential oil, and 5-minute hourglass timer – perfect for a quick meditation break at your desk.

Serenity by the Sea Adult Coloring Book

Coloring books provide creative powerful ways to relieve stress and promote relaxation. This adult coloring book features 12 beautifully rendered images of beach scenes accompanied by inspirational messages. A creative way to promote relaxation, the thick velvet stock paper even allows you to frame your works of art. A whimsical, nostalgic, unique gift idea for 2022, along with a companion item like the Crayon Fun Pack.

Well Being Gourmet Gift Set

This meaningful gift set is all about self-care. Featuring a beautiful ceramic mug, artisan Bees Knees Meyer Lemon Honey from Bushwick Kitchen, delicious gourmet sugar cookies, and a flight of organic feel-good natural tea satchels from TeaPigs which contain herbs that promote relaxation, happiness, and restful sleep.

Summer Gifts for Employees

With spring and summer just around the corner, these unique and customizable outdoor items will make great seasonal employee gifts. Check out our guide to Summer Swag for more staff appreciation gift ideas.

Pop-Up Beach Tent

unique employee appreciation gifts - vacuum growler

This two-person tent is lightweight and can be set-up quickly and folded back into the included carry bag. Simply remove tent from the bag and toss it into the air. The tent opens swiftly and on its own! Use the included six stakes to secure to ground. Silver coated UV fabric offers all day protection from the sun. Tent dimensions when open are 60″x51″x43″ with 60″x67″ canopy floor.

Growl Vacuum Growler

Whether your Growl accompanies you on brew tours, picnics, or that epic camping trip, you know it’s there to keep the spirit of recreation alive and well. Growler constructed of double wall 18/8 stainless steel with vacuum insulation. Keeps drinks at ice cold temperatures for over 24 hours. Hinged function on Growler neck keeps the lid attached. The heavy duty handle makes for easy one-handed carrying. Fill-line is etched into neck of growler to indicate 64oz mark. Exclusive Leed’s design.

Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Portable Gas Grill

A cool, high-end gift for employees, the Cuisinart Petite Gourmet Gas Grill is portable and durable. Perfect for outdoor cookouts in the summer, this gas grill features folding legs, a grill lid latch, carry handle, and spill resistant drip tray. The Cuisinart name signifies quality they’ll appreciate. Available in black or red.

Unique Employee Appreciation Gifts

Looking for additional unique Employee Appreciation Day gift ideas? Check out our guide to Unique Promotional Items for Giveaways.

Or – consider letting them choose their own employee recognition gifts, so they get exactly what they want and deserve. Check our guide to Online Company Store Features and Benefits.

Contact Metron Branding for assistance with selecting motivating and rewarding personalized gifts for your industrious employees or fill out this form today.