How will you give out employee thank you gifts?

A carnival-themed party: an employee thank you gift for the whole family! Photo via Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Flickr.

Employee thank you gifts show your workers that you appreciate them and value their contributions. A thank-you is especially meaningful when expressed through a personal note of appreciation, a handshake and heartfelt words of thanks, or leadership’s laudatory remarks at a special event.

Summer is a great time to give inventive employee thank you gifts, from planned events to impromptu, informal thanks. Don’t underestimate the power of a personal thank you! In Forbes article Employee Recognition: Cost-Free To Provide, Costly To Neglect,” former executive Victor Lipman writes, 

“If I learned anything in decades in business it’s that the kind of recognition employees really appreciate in the trenches…in the day-to-day grind of work…is [simple]. It’s a pat on the back from their manager. It’s being told they’re doing a good job. It’s a heartfelt thank you for a tough project well done. Sincere appreciation sincerely expressed.”

Lipman also blogs in Psychology Today’s “Mind of the Manager,” and is author of The Type B Manager: Leading Successfully in a Type A World.

Here are 7 suggestions for summer employee thank you gifts for both individuals and groups.

Summer’s 7 Best Employee Thank You gifts

Time Off

Everyone appreciates some unexpected time to enjoy family and friends. Kids don’t have school and summer is ideal for fun family activities. Why not thank individuals and teams with an extra day off? Surprise your workplace with early release for a long weekend – you’ll earn loyalty and dedication to your business.

Flex Time

The ability to alter your schedule and take a few hours off can feel like a gift. Many people would gladly come in early or stay late in exchange for time with family and friends. Look at your business coverage needs and consider how you can offer summer flex time.

Take a Break

How about an unexpected break to share a summer treat? Refresh your workplace and take it outside! In a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) discussion group, “HR Talk – Employee Appreciation Ideas,” one contributor posted a great idea:

“Over the summer, we started having a local company deliver treats with their ice cream truck. It was a great way for employees to take a break, have free ice cream and mingle.”

Family Fun

How about employee thank you gifts that the whole family can enjoy?  Consider movie tickets, or gift cards for a family dinner out, mini-golf or other local summer activities.

Outdoor Events

To recognize your entire workforce—and enable family time—hold an outdoor celebration like a picnic! A fun theme makes the day even more memorable. You can find lots of ideas in TastyCatering’s “30 of the Best Company Picnic Themes.” Popular themes include:

  • International—a Mexican fiesta or a Mediterranean feast, for example, with traditional food, music, and decorations.
  • Sport—try a tailgate party with ballpark food followed by a softball game.
  • Event—maybe a swimming party or a carnival theme.

Be sure management attends and engages with workers.  Their thank-you carries special meaning!

Good Health

Employee thank you gifts can help improve wellness. You could give shares in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group, offer fruit and vegetable gift certificates, or even hold onsite cooking classes!


Provide professional development opportunities to show your appreciation. Enabling workers to add new skills by taking a course or networking at a conference lets them know you’re invested in their potential. 

Any of these gift ideas—along with your sincere thanks—will help motivate your workforce and show you care.

For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement, respect and recognition, be sure to download our free e-book“The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should be Reading”.
The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should Be Reading
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC ( is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at or 888-484-1658.
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Gift Certificates

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How gThankYou Certificates Work

Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

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Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Recipient and Giver names (optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.