Personalized Gifts for Employees: The Ultimate in Appreciation

Personalized Gifts for Employees: The Ultimate in Appreciation

Your employees are the backbone of your business, and chances are they deserve more recognition than they’re getting. They put in the hours, they’re motivated, and they contribute so much to your company’s ongoing success. There are lots of ways to say thank you to them for all they do, from extra time off to special awards to personalized gifts for employees.

Given that most of us understand how beneficial it can be to show appreciation in the workplace, the question is, why aren’t more companies doing it? The quick answer is that finding gifts for employees can be tough. You might like to give every one of your employees a big bonus, but that probably isn’t financially feasible. You likely don’t know enough about each employee to give them a truly personal present, but a gift card can feel too generic.

So, how can you show your employees how much their hard work and loyalty means to your company? Personalized gifts for employees are an easy, budget-friendly way to say thank you, whether you choose custom backpacks with names, insulated mugs with an inspirational quote, customized water bottles, or hoodies with the company logo. In this post, we explain why you should show your appreciation more often and outline just about everything you need to know about choosing personalized gifts for employees.

The Benefits of Giving Employee Gifts

Corporate gifts like custom computer backpacks do a lot to show an employee or staff member that they’re more than just another cog in the machine. You might think that monetary awards would be better than tangible gifts at engaging and motivating employees, but the fact is, a number of studies show that non-financial gifts and awards do more to boost employee engagement than cash bonuses.

And the benefits of giving employees personalized gifts don’t stop there. Here are even more reasons to give your workforce something fun like a custom backpack with pictures or a monogram instead of (or better yet, in addition to!) a monetary gift.

1. Employee gifts are good incentives

Many studies have found that recognition improves employee engagement. People will generally work harder when they know that they’ll get more than just a paycheck when they do. Recognition can take many forms, but when your business is operating on a budget, personalized gifts for employees are low-cost employee gift ideas to bring out the best in your workforce.

2. Personalized gifts are an easy way to say thank you

It’s always a good idea to show your team how much you appreciate everything they do, but shockingly, only 17% of employees report that their managers show appreciation. As noted above, you may not know enough about each of your employees to give them truly personal gifts, but you can give them personalized  employee appreciation gifts that demonstrate that you see how much time and effort they put into their work.

3. Small practical gifts show you care

Employees don’t need to feel like their employers care about them to do a good job, but those who do feel that way are usually happier and more productive at work. Whether you give personalized gifts for employee birthdays or holidays, such as Employee Appreciation Day, or after big wins, you’ll be boosting employee satisfaction and engagement. 

4. Personalized employee gifts are more memorable

The fact that you went out of your way to personalize a gift won’t be lost on your employees. Most companies bulk order gifts like custom backpacks, custom apparel, pens, mugs, totes, and other useful items featuring the company logo, which are great giveaways for events like the company picnic. But if your goal is to show one employee or one team how much value they contribute, you can’t beat a one-of-a-kind, unique gift.

5. Corporate gifts for employees can extend your reach

While your primary goal when giving employee gifts should be to make your valued employees happy, you can’t ignore the fact that unique or useful branded corporate gifts— even when they’re personalized—can expose more people to your company name.

Things to Consider When Giving Employees Gifts

Like every other method of boosting employee or staff member engagement and satisfaction, gift giving should be approached strategically. It’s entirely possible to go overboard when you’re purchasing personalized gifts for employees, though it’s much more common for companies to do too little. Here are some things to consider when your goal is to boost engagement and ensure that your workforce feels appreciated.


Traditionally, companies give their employees gifts during the holiday season. Always giving gifts at the same time of year is convenient for businesses, but can backfire when it comes to employees feeling appreciated. When employees know that they’re going to get the same logo sweatshirt, branded travel mug, or another custom backpack with pictures because it’s that time of year again, it just means less. Giving random personalized gifts for employees makes more of an impact because your gift will feel much more special.

Your Budget

While it’s tempting to look for gifts you can get in bulk because these types of items tend to cost less, save those wholesale branded freebies for the corporate retreat, event swag bags, or a company rebrand. When you’re choosing employee appreciation gifts, look for bigger ticket items you can personalize. The goal, after all, is to show you care, not to give out as many gifts as possible. How much you should spend on personalized gifts for employees will depend on your budget, which will depend on how long the employee has been with your company and how much you can reasonably afford.


When you’re buying employee appreciation gifts, your design shouldn’t be heavy on your company logo, name, or url. You can certainly include these in the design of your custom gift, but they should not be the focal point. Remember, the goal is appreciation, not advertising impressions. Personalizing an employee gift will mean adding their name or monogram, a favorite quote, an award or a special photo to whatever gift you choose to give. 

Why Personalized Gifts for Employees are Powerful

More and more companies are choosing to invest in personalized gifts for employees as part of their employee engagement and employee experience initiatives. Above, we discussed some of the ways giving employee appreciation gifts benefits employers, but we also wanted to address why personalized gifts in particular have such a profound impact on employees.

A Personalized Present Is More than Just Something to Unwrap

It may be the thought that counts, but good thoughts lead to good gifts. When you put in the effort to create personalized presents for employees, it shows that you care enough to do more than just buy bulk swag. You know your employees and you want to do something to show you appreciate them as individuals.

Personalized Gifts Foster Strong Connections

A personalized employee appreciation gift shows that your business is willing to go the extra mile to make employees feel good. Whenever your employee uses their present (whether it’s something they’ll use at work, like a custom backpack, or at home, like a custom cooler), they’ll be reminded that the work they’re doing matters.

Custom Employee Gifts Stand Out

The whole point of a gift is to give someone something they’ll love, and statistics suggest that a perfect gift has personalization. A Deloitte survey, for instance, found that more than 1-in-3 consumers want to be able to personalize products. That suggests that your employees will appreciate a personalized gift far more than a generic one.

Personalization Can Make Practical Gifts More Exciting

Practical items related in some way to the work your employees do make great gifts because they demonstrate that you’re concerned with their success. That said, the old standbys—like flash drives, mousepads, coolers, and totes—can be pretty boring. Personalization takes practical gifts to the next level because you can be as fun and creative as you want to when customizing gifts for employees.

Ideas for Customizing Employee Gifts

The biggest challenge companies face when choosing personalized gifts for employees won’t be picking the present but rather figuring out how to customize it. Now and then it’s easy because the recipient is a super fan of something or has a catch phrase, but in most cases, customizing employee appreciation presents will take some creative thinking on your part. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Search for inspiration - Personalizing a gift doesn’t have to mean designing something entirely unique. Look at sites like Pinterest for ideas on how to customize presents for employees.

Add a name or monogram - This is one of the easiest personalization ideas, but still a popular one. Who doesn’t like seeing their name on a gift?

Find out their favorite color - Choosing a gift that comes in an employee’s favorite color can be a great first step.

Keep it simple - Don’t go overboard when customizing employee gifts. A monogram or a funny quote or a special image will do. You don’t need all three. 

Think about your recipient - What makes your giftee unique? Consider what makes them stand out from the crowd and let that drive your design.

Above All, Don’t Forget the Thank You!

Personalized gifts for employees are a wonderful way to make your workforce feel appreciated. That said, don’t assume you can leave a wrapped package on your employee’s desk, call it a day, and get a big engagement boost. Employees want recognition, and that includes recognition in the form of an actual ‘thank you’—preferably given in person. So, whenever you give employee appreciation gifts, make the effort to do it in person. Your employees will love the attention, and your company will reap the rewards.

Are you searching for the best quality personalized gifts for your employees? At Bagmasters, you can choose from thousands of customizable employee appreciation gifts like custom backpacks, custom coolers, apparel, and more. Giving your employees personalized gifts will not only make them smile but will show them that what they do each day is appreciated too. Ready to get started? Begin your customization journey here.


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