4imprint, LLC

| Updated: January 04, 2021

Employee recognition is a vital component of an enjoyable workplace. More than having a bad boss, low pay or long hours, Canadian employees say a lack of recognition in the workplace is the top reason they are unhappy in their current role.

Lack of recognition is the No. 1 reason for job dissatisfaction.


Considering this statistic, it’s alarming to learn that 70 percent of Canadians say they have never received any recognition for their efforts at work. That’s a lot of missed opportunities for employers to show team members the love.

In addition to making employees happier, acknowledging employees with an award or one of the following employee appreciation gift ideas has a lasting effect. Recognition awards motivate employees to continue doing well and make them feel accomplished and valued. Plus, seeing team members receive recognition motivates other employees to work harder. In a nutshell, award programs influence the entire work place.

Three unforgettable recognition award ideas

Motivate employees and show your appreciation with these employee appreciation gift ideas. These tips will help build an unforgettable awards program that any employee will appreciate.

Go beyond the anniversary award. Awards should do more than mark a team member’s anniversary. Although important to note, service recognition should just be one part of an awards program. Awards that mark accomplishments or high achievements do a better job of engaging and motivating employees. In addition, achievement awards can be given throughout the year—instead of just on an anniversary.

One idea is to honour employees who regularly exhibit behaviours representative of company values.


Honour employees who regularly exhibit behaviours representative of company values.


On a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, choose employees who consistently work with these values in mind. Choose a unique gift as an award that also represents company beliefs. For example, if one of your organization’s values is innovation, a modern gift like the Addi Wireless Speaker is a suitable choice. With a microphone for answering calls, this innovative recognition award idea makes a great tool for the home or office. If your company values extraordinary customer service, a communication-themed gift makes an appropriate award. The Desk Cube with Ear Buds comes with a phone stand, ear buds and screen cleaning cloth. Also, the stand easily folds into a cube, making it easy to toss into a purse or briefcase for on-the-go use.

It is also important to recognize associates who accomplish their individual goals. These personalized achievements can be set annually during an employee’s review or more frequently during touch-base meetings. When a goal is met, be sure to take the time to recognize it. Mark successes with a high-quality employee recognition gift. Employees can proudly display the Jade Glass Plaque on their shelves or desk. This chic plaque also comes with a nail hanger to easily display on an office wall. The Plato Glass Paperweight is another award option with a unique design. The award doubles as a bowl for small items, such as paper clips or candy pieces.

Yell it from the rooftops. To make employees really feel special, tell the whole team. No matter how large or small your organization, have the CEO personally hand awards to their recipients. Employees will truly feel honoured when the head of an organization takes the time to congratulate them on an achievement. Then, be sure to communicate the honour company-wide. One great way to do this is on a bulletin board displayed in a heavily-trafficked area of the company.

Honour employees on an employee recognition bulletin board.



Not only does this publicly celebrate the employee, it also motivates others to reach the same achievement.

Involving the whole team is another way to spread the word about an honourable achievement. Have colleagues personally sign a congratulations card; then pair it with a thoughtful gift basket. Not only are the options endless, but a gift basket is both thoughtful and personal. Package smaller items inside of a reusable tote bag, such as the Therm-O-Tote Insulated Grocery Bag. This practical gift item can be used to carry frozen items home from the grocery store or to help keep a dish hot on the way to the next potluck. Plus, it makes a brand impression everywhere it’s seen. The Picnic Basket Cooler also makes a great gift basket. Package locally made foods inside this durable basket for a crowd-pleasing recognition award.

Make it personal. Whatever the gift is for, the best gifts are personalized. Personalized gifts help nurture the employee relationship by showing just how much thought was put into choosing the perfect recognition gift. Also, choosing a personalized gift encourages you to spend time with employees, learning more about their hobbies, interests and personal lives.

Once you know what type of gift an employee would love, consider one of these personalized ideas. For the foodie, the Normandy Swivel Base Cheese and Wine Set makes a thoughtful recognition gift. This acacia wood tray has a slate top that can be removed to reveal cheese serving tools and a wine opener. For the team member with a green thumb, the Garden Tool Bag Kit is the perfect fit. This handy gift basket comes with five must-have gardening tools inside a heavy-duty nylon bag. If an employee regularly spends time in the great outdoors, they are sure to appreciate a useful camping gift, such as a Pop Light Twist Lantern. This lantern features LEDs and easily folds down for storage.

Say thanks with an award they’ll never forget

By honouring extraordinary work, telling the whole company and personalizing the recognition gift, you can build an awards program that will not only have everyone talking, it will also motivate them to reach their goals. Remember these tips and employee appreciation gift ideas when planning your next awards celebration.

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