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Learn how implementing an offline strategy with employee appreciation gifts is helping people teams reduce turnover and build outstanding company culture for distributed workforces.

Employee Appreciation Gifts

Employee Appreciation Gifts

Employee appreciation and recognition is a crucial component of a positive work culture. There are many ways to show appreciation for team members, recognize their accomplishments, and celebrate them as a part of the team, and one of the most popular ways is through gifting. Employee appreciation gifts can be highly effective at driving morale and sending a clear message to recipients that their contributions to an organization are not only seen but are greatly appreciated.

Employee appreciation gifts are often given as part of a comprehensive employee appreciation program. Employee appreciation programs might outline criteria for recognizing employees based on performance, goals to be met through the program and rewards that are to be given as part of the program. Employee recognition templates can include all of these considerations and more, and can be tailored to an individual company’s employee recognition aspirations.

Employee recognition is such an important component of a larger positive work environment, that there are several applications designed specifically to help fulfill employee recognition. Employee recognition software helps employers and HR teams organize and keep track of their employee recognition efforts. This can be especially helpful in larger organizations.

Employee recognition programs can take a few approaches. Some employee recognition program ideas include setting specific goals to be rewarded with gifts upon completion, holding celebrations to honor high achieving employees, and teams that have excelled during certain time periods, and celebrating employees who’ve reached milestones such as numbers of years with the company.

Aside from gifting, employee recognition programs often feature letters or spoken sentiments to be given to employees with messaging about how valued an employee is to the company and their team. Employee recognition samples can be found online, or these sentiments can be handwritten by team members. In either case, it’s important that these sentiments feel meaningful and don’t come across as generic. Combined with a thoughtful gift, these types of efforts can be largely beneficial to an organization’s overall culture and success. 

Employee Awards and Recognition Program Examples

Different organizations may choose to approach their employee recognition programs differently. Recognition efforts can range from simple verbal commendations to pirates and ceremonies honoring the accomplishments of team members, and from offering written sentiments of appreciation to offering unique employee gifts, everything in between, and combinations of any of these. The end goal is always to create a workplace where team members feel recognized and appreciated for their ongoing efforts and accomplishments—which, in turn, leads to improved morale and even productivity. Determining which types of recognition and awards programs might be important before developing an employee recognition program proposal. While employee recognition and awards programs might look slightly different anywhere, here are some employee rewards and recognition program examples you might recognize:

  • Employee of the month program: Each month, an employee is chosen for their outstanding performance or efforts and are recognized as the month’s employee of the month. This honor can be combined with awards.
  • Hosting events to honor employees: Companies may also choose to host events, such as parties or weekend get-togethers designed specifically to honor employees. These events can also feature award ceremonies, during which time honored employees are presented with awards.

These employee recognition examples can be modified to meet the needs of a specific company, and they may look different in different organizations. Employee reward programs also might look different in different organizations. Some might choose monetary awards or offer unique gifts, while others might offer symbolic awards or bulk gifts as rewards. Here are some employee rewards examples:

  • Offering inexpensive gift cards for excellent work: A gift card to a restaurant, entertainment, or cafe is a way to offer employees a relaxing experience for their hard work.
  • Unique employee gifts for years of working in a company or outstanding accomplishments: Offering unique gifts to employees who’ve shown their loyalty year after year or to those who’ve made great strides is an excellent way to affirm appreciation for their dedication. 

Employee Recognition Ideas

Employee recognition is important. Recognizing individuals for their efforts, accomplishments, goals met, loyalty, and dedication is a strong way to improve morale and show vital team members that they’re recognized and important to the company. Employee recognition can focus on two broad categories—personal and professional.

Personal accomplishments and milestones might be things such as buying a house, having children, getting married or having a significant anniversary. Professional milestones and accomplishments might include things such as getting a promotion, having a significant year in production, winning a professional award in one’s field, or reaching a certain number of years with a company.

Depending on the size of the company, the company’s budget, and other external factors such as lockdowns and restrictions imposed due to Covid, employee recognition ideas might take various approaches. For instance, employee recognition ideas for large companies might take into consideration the amount of employees and be things such as having a team-member of the month for each team, or combine employee awards into a large company wide event to take place once or twice a year.

Employee recognition ideas on a budget include giving low-cost gift cards for achievements, holding events to celebrate several employees at once, and offering letters of appreciation to employees for milestones. Employee recognition ideas during covid might look much the same, but events might be virtual, and awards can be sent online in the form of e-gifts. Employee recognition ideas in 2022 may be a combination of any of these, as many companies have shifted to hybrid work or permanent remote positions. These reward and recognition ideas can also be implemented in a variety of manners. 

Best Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition is important. The best employee recognition programs will make a positive impact on worker morale and performance. Even small steps as simple as offering personal letters of recognition can positively impact workers. Gifting can have a huge impact on morale and loyalty as well. In fact, according to Mrs Prindables’ 2021-22 Employer Gift Giving Report, which surveyed over a thousand U.S. based employees, more than half of respondents said that they were more likely to be loyal and continue working for a company that provides gifts. As a part of a larger employee recognition program, gifting can serve a vital function.

Many companies also use software applications to increase employee recognition that leverage peer recognition to foster a positive workplace. Employee recognition software for small businesses and large businesses alike comes in many forms. Some software resembles familiar social media platforms, while some helps teams track their employee recognition efforts. The Access Group offers one such application—the Applause employee recognition program enables employers to offer praise to employees through the software. However your organization approaches employee recognition programs, it’s important to establish employee recognition program guidelines which might outline everything from the goals of the program to how managers and team leaders should go about engagement. 

Modern Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition has always been important in the workplace, but practices have changed over time. Modern employee recognition programs often take advantage of technology to make employee recognition more streamlined, efficient, and effective. Some advances have been led by necessity, and as many workplaces have shifted toward online work in order to keep up with changing trends and lockdown orders amid a global pandemic, employee recognition programs have shifted as well.

Digital technology plays a greater role in employee recognition initiatives in many organizations, and even gifting has changed with the emergence of gifting platforms that enable HR and people ops teams to manage their offline gifting strategy through digital platforms. This has enabled employers to more easily manage their gifting efforts at larger scale, and has also been a needed shift to allow HR teams to reach out and celebrate remote employees. With top employee recognition software programs such as Kudos, employee recognition has changed, as has the way that organizations approach it. 

Employee Recognition Platform

Employee recognition platforms provide HR and people ops teams a comprehensive overview of their outreach efforts and tools with which to manage them. Employee recognition apps can range in sophistication depending on the needs and budget of an organization, and offer a range of capabilities designed to make employee recognition easier. These tools offer insights and analytics that offer a comprehensive and systematic approach to employee recognition, which can be more effective than guesswork or trial and error.

Different employee recognition softwares and applications take different approaches. Some might leverage the power of peer feedback and recognition and resemble social media applications, while some offer management tools and focus on analytics that can help HR teams, manager and people ops teams make the right moves at the right times. Some might have features such as appreciation boards available online and functions that allow peers to honor one another. Many organizations use internal recognition platforms, as is the case with PwC, with their GEMS recognition platform. 

Employee Recognition Vendors

Employee recognition is a vital component in a larger positive work environment, and organizations have stepped up to meet challenges that come with a workforce shaken by lockdown orders and a pandemic. Top employee recognition companies have also met challenges by offering gifting options that enable employers HR teams and people ops teams to create genuine and authentic meaningful connections with employees through gifting efforts.

Employee recognition vendors often create gifts that are tailored to employee appreciation uses, to the end of helping organizations create positive work cultures. Rewards and recognition vendors can be a powerful asset to organizations looking to improve the way they engage with employees. Vendors such as Batch Gifts, Bestowal, and Gourmet Gifts specialize in creating memorable meaningful experiences for recipients. 

If you’ve been looking for new ways to engage with employees, be sure to reach out and request a demo with Postal, where you’ll have access to an expansive marketplace of vendors such as Bestowal, Batch Gifts, and Gourmet Gifts, and gifting options that can take your employee rewards and recognition strategy to the next level—enabling you to create authentic connections with employees.

"Some corporate gifting platforms are insanely expensive. Postal is a no-brainer—it's a fraction of the cost of their competitors, and the customer service is top-notch."
Evoque 4
Alice Stern
Senior Marketing Manager
"There are lots of other fancy gifting platforms out there, but none as easy to use, attentive to customer need, or eager to please as Postal."
Fivetran 3
Casey Patterson
Manager, Account Based Marketing
“I have used a couple of corporate gifting tools and Postal is truly *unmatched*. From the ease of sending to the ease of training new senders, the whole experience is enjoyable."
Brooke Rhoades
Customer Marketing Manager

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