By Christine Song

8 Perfect Employee Gifts for the Holidays


Let us help you navigate the balancing act of giving gifts to employees this holiday season.

Employee gift-giving is a balancing act.

You want to keep it professional (and not get too personal) and equal (you can’t show favoritism), all while giving gifts that each employee will actually like, use, and (hopefully) enjoy. 

Let us help you find this balance with our 8 employee gift ideas below!

(See all of our gift guides here to find a gift for everyone on your list!)

The logistics behind employee gifting

Before you start buying your employees gifts, be sure you're avoiding some common pitfalls:

  • Stay in budget and keep it fair! The worst thing you can do is inadvertently give a gift to one employee that has an unequal value as another.  It has the potential of souring your relationship with the employee(s) who received the less expensive gift because they may feel less valued, and making the employee(s) with the more expensive gift feel uncomfortable for receiving a gift of unequal value. So, what is your total budget and how many employees are you giving gifts to? You’ll avoid going over budget on an individual employee by keeping these answers in mind plus establishing a fair, reasonable range to spend on each person. Budgeting is key!
  • Avoid getting too personal. Gifts that are too personal can backfire on you for a number of reasons. Maybe an employee shared something that they don’t necessarily want other employees to know they like or take part in. And there’s always the chance you’ll get it wrong; just because an employee has a car calendar at their desk doesn’t necessarily mean they want all things cars. You’ll have to consider the dynamics and personalities of your office and the employees carefully. One option is to give every employee the same gift. If you choose to do this, choose gifts that are a little more generic so that they work for everyone. You can eliminate the problem of giving gifts with different price tags such that some employees receive personal gifts and others more generic.
  • Make it clear that gift giving is not required or doesn’t need to be reciprocal. Just because you’re giving your employees gifts doesn’t mean they need to reciprocate or that gift giving in the office among employees is required. Not everyone has the budget to extend gifts to non-family members like coworkers. See if or what your company’s policy is on holiday gifting, especially if this is the first year you’re giving gifts, and communicate what the policy is to your employees via a memo or meeting. 

4 gifts to give all of your employees 

If you want to go the route of giving the same gift to all of your employees, the ones below are reasonably priced allowing you to buy in bulk, include pretty detailing, and are functional and useful.

This is a great option if you want to avoid some of the issues described above by giving everyone the same thing, or just have a large group of employees to give gifts to and are short on time or otherwise unable to search for individualized gifts.

1. Encourage employees with beautiful paper products.

What better way to help your employees manage the business of daily work than with paper products that are designed to go the extra mile. Give everyone one of these notepads, mix and match and give them 2 of the 3, or buy a handful of each and give one to each employee that you think they’ll love the most.

The Ink+Volt Priority Pad encourages focus and planning for bigger goals and ideas whereas the Ink+Volt Daily Task Pad comes in to help them make the days count with lines and checkboxes for daily tasks. We also love the Daily Overview Notepad because it includes hourly time stamps to keep their days smooth and on track.

2. Keep your employees hydrated.

Whether it’s a mug, tumbler, or water bottle, personalize it with your company's logo or a picture through a site like Baudville or Shutterfly. You can individualize batches of these gifts for different teams or working groups to make it a little more personal.

3. Send inspiration from afar.

Pairing beautiful, thick wool coasters with inspirational messages, the Ink+Volt Inspirational Coasters are perfect for the home or office. One side shares the message “inspire,” “sparkle,” ‘brilliant,” or “radiate,” while the other has a fun bursting line pattern.

4. Send your employees shopping in style.

Reasonably priced, this durable workhorse of a bag from BAGGU comes in so many different colors and designs that yes, you can give your employees all the same gift, but no they don’t all have to get the same color.  Choose from a 3-pack or single bag.

4 employee gift ideas for the individual

Rather than getting one gift for everyone, use our ideas below to find the perfect gift for your employees on an individual level. This is an ideal route to take if you have a small team and/or know your employees fairly well; that way, you can really put time and thought into a gift for each of them.

1. For the employee who likes to stay organized, the hardest part about selecting this gift option is choosing a color. The Ink+Volt Planner, undated or ready for 2020, means your employee can do what they do best: plan, organize, and max out their productivity. These planners are meant to inspire, encourage, and bring out the best. There is plenty of space and prompts to set an intention for the year, to drill down into months and habits with monthly challenges, and areas to reflect and celebrate throughout.

2. Show your appreciation. Take a nontraditional, gift giving route, and gift your employees words of gratitude, thanks, sincere appreciation, or awe at their hard work, accomplishments, or achievements. Use beautiful stationery to encapsulate your words to turn it into a memorable keepsake that will really mean something. Everyone loves to be praised for a job well done or be complimented, and sometimes that’s more than a tangible gift can convey.

3. For the employee who reads during lunch and breaks. If they’ve got a book in their hands whenever they’re not working, there’s a good chance they like to read. And what better way to pair a love of books and reading than with a cute candle evoking the smell of a classic; check out these four literary candles

4. The plant loving employee, with their desk or office draped in greenery, probably doesn’t have animals hiding among the leaves. But these cute jungle or Aussie Plant Hanging Animals will change that and brighten their day.