Building an appreciation culture: Key considerations for choosing the perfect corporate gifts for employees

A culture of appreciation is not something that is built and thrives overnight, nor is it an ultimate goal that once it seems like it’s been reached, you can stop efforts to maintain it. It is an accomplishment developed in time, and everyone involved in the organisation works on it. The turmoil of 2020 has pushed many business owners to recognise and acknowledge the importance of keeping employees happy and fulfilled, reconsidering priorities and focusing more on how employees think and feel about their jobs. Numerous surveys show that employees are reprioritising their goals and aspirations, with almost two in three workers saying the pandemic has caused them to reconsider their work.

Simple yet practical things can be done to keep employees happy. Depending on the company’s awards plaques possibilities, it may take as little as offering them presents on their birthdays or celebrating each small or significant achievement.

Irrespective of the circumstances, gifts remain a staple to any celebration and can improve one’s morale in unimaginable ways. Finding the ideal corporate present such as awards plaques may feel challenging given the vast array of choices, but considering several tips, you can’t go wrong in your gift selection endeavour. Here are the considerations to help you find the best gifts to offer at work celebrations.


Whether you’re looking for business or employee gifts or gifts to strengthen your marketing campaign’s efforts, customisation can be your best ally. Giant companies from all over the world have such strategies already implemented. Customised gifts are about making your present stand out, stating an idea loud and clear and showing the recipient that there’s been a lot of thought in the selection process.

You can opt to customise a t-shirt or a bag or go as far as using power banks or lighters. The possibilities are endless, depending on what you think the receiver will like or the knowledge possessed about their hobbies and passions.

Corporate gifts provide an excellent opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the receiver, whether it’s clients, partners, or employees you’re offering them to. You can keep your branding low, so it won’t look too promotional and make an unwanted impression.  


Likely everyone can attest that not all gifts are tremendous or valuable, and most may unwillingly end up untouched at the bottom of a locker. While in essence, every gift is beautiful and a reason for joy, and despite the efforts behind the initiatives, we may often forget about some gifts. Having employees show complacent smiles doesn’t have to be your case if you’re putting in the minimal effort to come up with gift ideas universally liked by anyone, regardless of age or sex.

Disposable gifts are used and then lost, but with something like a nice custom mug, you can make sure you’re offering something that holds value, is practical, and can deliver different feelings depending on what text or photo you want to print on them.

Gifts that provide value can make great souvenirs when employees retire, showing the time the employee spent in the company.

Budget orientation

Gifts don’t come for free, and while many may be inclined to think that getting pricy or unjustifiably expensive gifts is the key to succeeding in this task and mastering this art, the truth couldn’t be further from this unimplemented theory. Great gifts need to tackle several boxes, including intention, care, and consideration. These don’t come at a cost and are realisable with a bit of preparation beforehand.

As such, when you kickstart your gift-finding journey, ensure you have a budget in mind. This behaviour will help you sort through the sea of options, keep you organised, and keep you between the lines. Setting the bar higher than you can afford paves the path to failure, just like creating a budget that’s not based on the possibilities can unnecessarily limit your choices.

You can always be generous and charitable while staying within the limits of a realistic budget.


It may seem like gifts already imply surprise, but that’s not exactly true. Presents are offered at pretty predictable times, so the only thing that remains a surprise is the object of the offering. Regarding businesses, gifts are even more foreseeable, with birthdays and celebrations being known by everyone.

Offering gifts to celebrate closing deals or company milestones is common in businesses that cherish and foster a culture of appreciation. Such a habit does not only show appreciation toward employees, but also demonstrates a forward-thinking mindset as the company looks to create a healthy company culture that survives in the long term.


Promoting inclusion and diversity in the workplace is essential, and no business can escape this. As such, you need to set a good example in this regard and choose gifts after you know a thing or two about your recipients.

Cultural sensitivity is a widely-debated topic, and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or show inconsiderateness by giving gifts that don’t align with their preferences or lifestyles. For instance, it’s evident that a non-smoker offered a lighter won’t find the gift practical.

When pondering your employees’ cultural backgrounds, it’s equally important to make sure they’re respectful of their traditions, religions, and beliefs. If you can, create a large list of options when choosing their gifts to eliminate the risk of unintended offences.


Last but not least, timing and occasion are critical elements in celebrations and even organisation, so it stands to reason that they’re also unnegligible when giving employees gifts. Special occasions like specific moments during the holiday season, birthdays, or work anniversaries provide great opportunities to build a culture of appreciation.

For instance, an employee may have just succeeded in an examination and obtained certification. This is a fantastic opportunity to show support and that you’re recognising their accomplishments.

Gifts are the cornerstone of every celebration. Regardless of your choice, ensuring this practice becomes a habit in your company is a great step towards creating a culture of appreciation.

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