11 Brilliant Co-Worker & Employee Gift Ideas for Holiday Exchanges

Every year, you and your co-workers attempt to organize gift exchanges. Or, maybe you don’t necessarily have a company-wide policy, but typically try to exchange gifts with a few key work pals. You may be looking for unique presents that are appropriate for the work environment. We’re here to help. Today, we’re highlighting eleven brilliant gift ideas suitable for co-workers and staff.

Monthly Subscription Goodies

Consider showing your appreciation for staff by offering monthly subscription deliveries of goodies. You can help boost morale and provide the gift that keeps on giving every month. There are a host of snacking subscriptions available, but check out ThanksCrate.com for some great ideas.

Kitchen Accessories

Dish towels and holiday-themed oven mitts can be great gift ideas. Consider stuffing the mitt with snacks or dry baking mixes. You’re sure to please your cooking enthusiast co-worker and stay within your price point in doing so.

Mugs, Thermals & Travel Cups

You may have employees or work friends who are rarely seen without a beverage in hand. You can offer these folks new mugs or travel cups to put in their usage rotation. Splurge a little and invest in some of the heavy-duty thermal mugs as well.

Graphic Tee Shirts

If there’s a comedian in your circle of staff or any fans of movies and music, you might offer graphic tee shirts or sweatshirts in a favorite genre. Remember to keep it clean and avoid offensive topics. But, finding that ‘new dad’ shirt or Star Wars themed hoodie, might be the best gift they receive.

Winter Wear

If you’re in an area with routine inclement weather, you’re always safe to gift winter-related wearables. Stocking caps, gloves, and ice scrapers are functional and handy gifts that almost anyone will enjoy receiving.

Favorite Candies

You might have that one co-worker who is constantly snacking or has the communal snack drawer from which everyone grazes. Buy a holiday stocking and stuff it full of favorite candies, just for them.

Desktop Accessories

You may work in an office environment with plans to exchange with fellow cubicle or desk masters. There is a variety of fun and unique desktop gifts available. Consider finding fun mousepads, picture frames, or writing utensils.

Technology Gifts

Do you have techie employees or co-workers on your list? Maybe new earbuds, portable chargers, or screen cleaning kits are in order. Depending on your price point or spending agreements, gifting new and cutting edge, tech-related items might be the perfect gift.

Coffees, Teas & Beverages

Coffee and tea lovers always enjoy coffee and tea-related gifts. Visit a specialty shop locally or find new flavors online. Offer the beverages with a new mug or flavorings for a complete package.

Spices, Seasonings & Rubs

If you have a few grill masters in your co-working space, grilling accessories might be perfect gifts. Wrap up new tongs and partner them with a host of spices, rubs, and seasonings. Tuck them all in a fun apron.

Movie Night Bundles

Consider assembling a few holiday movie DVDs, some microwave popcorn, and candy. Gift wrap the entire bundle and present it as the perfect gift. You can stuff it with extras or gourmet popcorn varieties, as well. It’s a gift that sure to please even the pickiest of co-workers.

Don’t fret this year’s gift exchanging. Keep it light, personalized, and fun. If you still find yourself stumped this season, you can always resort to gift cards. Sometimes a movie pass, a card to a favorite local restaurant, or iTunes will be perfectly acceptable. For more tips and ideas for your company gift exchanges, contact us!

Writing the Perfect Goodbye Letter to a Coworker

When it comes time to wish your coworkers a farewell, it can be difficult to put your thoughts down on paper. It’s an amazing show of support when someone receives a goodbye letter from a coworker – most of the people in one’s workplace become like a second family! Taking the time to jot something down, even if simple, will mean more than you know.
Personalize
If you’ll be the only one writing, make sure it’s apparent this letter is coming from you! Reminisce on past jokes and scenarios at work that had you both rolling. This might be a tough time for your coworker, so take the opportunity to lift their spirits and bring a smile to their face.

If you’ll be asking others to sign your letter or card, try to keep the content general. Discuss your coworker’s strengths and talk about how these will help them in their new job. Leave plenty of room for others to write anything they like, but take up enough space to show that you really care.
Suggested Outline
Struggling to find the right flow or structure for your letter? We’ve got some tips and tricks for you.

  1. Opening
    Start with something general and uplifting – something that shows how much you’ve enjoyed working with this person. Elaborate to include anything you like.

Chris,

It’s been a crazy few years here at Business Inc., but you’ve made coming into work every day a little bit easier. I just want to say thank you again for always wearing a smile first thing in the morning – I still have no clue what your secret is!

  1. Remember
    Follow up with a personal or shared moment that your coworker will appreciate you mentioning. The goal is to make their previous time at work feel important and remembered – bring up anything, whether it’s big or small.

Remember the first winter you were here? The week before Christmas we had that huge snowstorm – you and I were some of the only ones that made it in to work that day! What a crazy rush we had that afternoon!

  1. Speculate
    Take some time to address how it will be different in the office without this person. What will you miss most about them when they are gone?

It’ll be a lot different around here without you; you’ll be off doing great things, but we’ll all miss your smiles! To be honest, I’m kind of nervous about getting a new cubicle neighbor!

  1. Strengths
    For the next part of your letter, highlight some of your co-worker’s strengths and how this impacted you and your team.

I know most of us came to you for questions about that product we all despise. You’ve always been super approachable and helpful when we needed some guidance. Everyone knew we could depend on Chris to swoop in and save the day. The new guy has a lot to live up to, that’s for sure!

  1. Closing
    In the final part of your letter, create a reason for your coworker to feel comfortable coming back to visit! Workplaces should be inviting and employees should feel welcome to come back and chat, especially about how their new position is going! Congratulate your coworker on whatever they’re moving on to next, and wish them luck and prosperity.

Good luck with your promotion and transfer, Chris. It was well-deserved – honestly, we couldn’t hide your talents from upper management for much longer anyway. If you have the time, please stop by and check in on all of us! Hopefully, the place doesn’t fall apart without you before then!

Wishing you all the best,
Steve

Birthday Card Writer’s Block!

Birthdays come and go at the office, but you’re hoping to up your greeting card game this year. You want to make sure you write something that won’t make your coworkers yawn and instantly toss away your card – but, where do you start? What on earth should you write that they will genuinely appreciate?

10 Ideas to Spark Your Creativity

Look no further – we’ll help you brainstorm. You’ll have the perfect card written in no time at all! Remember, the fact that you took the time to write something for your coworker will mean more than a stock greeting card, anyway.

Funny Messages

Looking for a funny message to include for someone you are close with? Try out some of these greetings in your head before you jot them down on a fancy card! If your coworker has a nickname, you could pop it into your card, too.

  1. Happy birthday, Joe! I thought about writing a happy birthday for every year you’ve attained, but I don’t have enough space. Joking, hope you have a great day!
  2. Hey, Joe!  Wishing you the best birthday ever – I even swiped 10 of the candles from the breakroom so you can feel a bit younger today! Happy (37th), bud.
  3. Joe, I know I said I wouldn’t make a big deal out of your birthday, but here’s this card. It says stuff, and I figured you were worth the effort. Happy birthday!
  4. Hey Joe. I asked the new guy how old he thought you were, and he said 30! It’ll be our secret. Happy birthday! Hope you keep looking this good for years to come.
  5. Happy birthday, Joe! Make sure to bring me some of your leftover cake tomorrow. Just kidding, hope you have a great time with your family tonight.

Standard Messages

Not quite as close to your coworker as that?  Maybe you want to write a birthday card to someone who is new, or an intern!  For people you don’t know quite as well, these would do just as well.

  1. Happy birthday, Joseph! I hope you have a great year; wishing you all the best.
  2. Wishing you a happy birthday, today, Joseph. It’s been great getting to know you the past few months! Here’s to another awesome year.
  3. Happy birthday and heartfelt wishes to you, Joseph! I hope this next year brings you all that you hope for.
  4. Happy birthday, Joseph; one more year gone, but so many left to go! I hope you achieve all that you hope to this year.
  5. A very special birthday wish to you, Joseph. The team and I pitched in for a cake, we hope you enjoy it!

Writing an Employee’s Birthday Card

Looking for something to write on your employee’s birthday card, but don’t know where to start?  We recommend beginning with identifying your audience. How casual is your workplace? What kind of relationships do you want to foster with your employees? Once you have that in mind, you’ll be able to take a sense of direction and run with it.

It’s becoming increasingly important to write a message in your greeting cards. It will mean much more than the stock text and show that you care enough to take a few minutes to jot something down. Here are a few ideas to jumpstart your brainstorming!

10 Ways to Say “Happy Birthday”

It’s been an awesome year; watching you grow in the company and within this team has been amazing. Keep up the great work!  

Wishing you the best of birthdays,

Happy birthday to one of the most dedicated employees on this team. I’ve been impressed, day in and day out, with your outstanding work ethic. Carry this with you in all things, and each birthday will bring you more success than the last one.  

Enjoy your day,

Happy birthday, Mike. I hope this next year in your life brings you as much success as the previous ones have.

Here’s a big shout-out to you, Mike. You’ve been a great role model for new employees. I just wanted to say ‘happy birthday’, and thank you for everything you’ve brought to the team this year.

Mike, your positivity and general attitude about work have always been uplifting and a huge benefit to the team. We really appreciate all that you’ve taught us over the past year.  

I wish you a birthday as happy as you make this office feel,

Happy cake day, Mike! We’re all wishing you a fantastic birthday and a memorable year.

Steve, Stacey, Karen, and Jenna

P.S. Save some for us, will you?

Happy birthday, Mike. You’re such an invaluable member of this team; I’m so glad we get you for another year!  

Happy birthday from all of us,

Congrats on making it another year here on the Earth! It’s a pleasure to work with you – Happy birthday!

Hey, Mike. I just wanted to give a quick thank-you for all that you do. You make working here a lot more fun and your dedication is always a great reminder of what we do here. Thanks for your hard work, and happy birthday!

Happy birthday, Mike. No one could do your job better than you – except maybe “Mike with cake”! Thanks for sticking around and giving us all you’ve got. Go enjoy your special day and a slice of cake on us.

Keep it Simple

Birthdays are a joyous time, so keep a birthday card light and fresh.  Don’t talk too much about work, unless it’s to show appreciation, and try not to mention how old your employee is unless you have a very close relationship with them. Above all, take the time to consider what your employee would like to hear today! The simple act of writing in a card can be a powerful way to connect with the people you see every day.

What to Write in a Work Anniversary Card

When someone new joins the company, it’s important to make them feel welcome. Showing appreciation to a new co-worker radically changes the atmosphere at work, and don’t we all want to work in a nice environment? 

Before you know it the new guy might be celebrating their first anniversary in the company! Nothing says “you’re one of us now” as getting a work anniversary card from your co-workers. Depending on your work environment, you may want to take the time to congratulate the newbie on a year with the company, or on other work anniversaries. Regardless of how close you are to your coworkers, we’ve got the perfect messages to help fill your greeting cards.

10 Ways to Say “Happy Work Anniversary!”

One Year

Hey Chris! If my math is right, you’ve been a __________ employee for 365 days. Congrats on putting up with all of us for a year, we’ve loved having you as a part of the team.

Happy “work-iversary,” Chris! You’ve really changed the office for the better since you’ve been here. Thanks for all you do; keep up the good work.

Chris! How has it already been a year? I guess they say “time flies when you’re having fun.” Seriously, though; thanks for doing what you do every day – you’re a real asset to our team.

Congrats! You’re not the new guy anymore, Chris! You’ve shown enormous potential from day one; it feels like you’ve been a part of the team forever.

Milestone Years

Hey Chris, happy fifth anniversary with us at ___________. Your work ethic and passion for what you do are an inspiration to those around you. Thank you for everything these past five years.

Ten years is a huge indication of your dedication to success with our company. Thank you so much for everything you’ve put into your time here with us so far – we look forward to what the future brings you.

Chris, I just wanted to write a short note letting you know how much I’ve appreciated seeing you grow with the company in the last ten years. If I could be half as successful and driven as you, I would be destined for greater things. Thank you so much for being a great role model; we all appreciate everything you do.

Any Number of Years

Hey, Chris! It’s been another year at the office for you – are you tired of us all yet? Just kidding; thanks for the smile you bring into the office every day. We have no idea how you manage it, but it always lifts the atmosphere a little bit each morning. Keep on doing what you’re doing – it’s working for you.

Happy work anniversary, Chris. I really appreciate everything you’ve brought to the company in the past few years. It’s been amazing getting to know you; you’ve helped me with so many projects I was struggling with. Here’s to an even better next year.

From Chris – the new intern… to Chris – everyone’s go-to guy! You’ve done some amazing work in the past couple of years, and we’re all incredibly proud to have you on our team. Here’s to many more; you have great things in store with this company.

10 Tips for Your Next Thank You Card

Several decades ago, cards were much simpler; they didn’t sing or have artwork popping up into three dimensions. Greeting cards were originally used to pen something from the heart – this is what made a card truly special. Words may have been either eloquent or simply put; however, you never saw a simple signature below pre-written text! Times certainly have changed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the potential a well-written thank you card can have.

Lost for Words?

Pre-designed cards are the norm and, honestly, they save time. Unfortunately, this time savings has also led to the degradation of a greeting card’s potential. Most people will pick up a card that speaks to them and sign their name. Dare to be different – wouldn’t a greeting card mean much more to you if the sender takes the time to write something just for you? It may be difficult to come up with the words to make your card special; don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Great Thank You Cards Tips

  1. Consider Your Audience

You would write very different things to your best friend than you would to your interviewer or boss. Use words like heartfelt and thoughtful when speaking to people who are close to you. Reserve stronger, more rigid words for professional thank you cards. Your relationship to the person you are writing for will give you a clear direction to take your thank you note.

2. Stationery Speaks

Depending on your audience, you may want a colorful, catchy card or a neutral, professional look. What kind of stationery you choose has a massive impact on the sincerity of your thank you card, so choose wisely.

3. Be Punctual

While this isn’t necessarily something you will physically write, the sooner your recipient reads your note, the more it will mean to them. A poorly timed, month-late thank you will mean very little in their eyes. Make sure to write up your card and send it out as soon as you can.

4. Address Your Recipient

Speak directly to your friend, coworker, or boss; never say something in a card that you wouldn’t say to someone in person. Consider how you normally speak and discuss your personal life with this person. To create an instant connection to the reader, use the recipient’s name in the first line.

5. Identify What You Are Thankful For

The best way to begin a thank you note is with a phrase that shows your appreciation for what was done for you! Feel free to be elaborate with your official thank you. Use words that express your true feelings about the situation or gift. If you need to use a thesaurus, go for it!

6. Explain Why

Write a short section on why this gift means so much to you. What will you use this gift for? What need did it fulfill?  Did the time they spent on you have a certain impact on your day? People love to hear how their thoughtfulness changed your life, regardless of the size of its impact.  

7. Catch Them Up

For personal thank you cards, include some information about what you have been up to. This gesture includes them in your life, especially if you don’t see them that often. Social media has decreased our desire to share experiences with individual people; we assume that everyone knows everything that happens to us just because we posted about it.

8. Tie the Past to the Future

Mention a time you saw each other last, even if it was the event you are sending the thank you for. Talk about what you enjoyed about it, then suggest a plan to get together again. People feel appreciated when they know you want to spend time with them; this makes them feel valued and like they are a part of your life.

9. Say thank you Again

This is a thank you card, after all. It’s always best to close out any note or conversation by summarizing the contents. A reiteration will bring the focus back to the original intent of the note. For example, you could write “thank you again for an amazing birthday lunch. It meant so much to spend time with you”.

10. Salutations!

Don’t forget to sign your card with a closing word and your name. This rounds out your message and finalizes the note’s contents. Play around with the different words that are available to you. Be sure to select one that matches your intended audience.

And remember, sending out a thank you card every time someone goes out of their way to make your life better is a thoughtful detail that doesn’t take much time and will be greatly appreciated.

Thanking Your Employees

As a business owner, you already know what a vital role your employees play in your business’s success. Daily tasks get assigned and completed on time because of them, and it’s a great idea to show them how much they are appreciated! Unfortunately, coming up with new and unique ideas is tough, and you don’t want to seem redundant in your efforts to show appreciation.  Here are a few ideas that may help to spark your creativity.

Words of Affirmation

A well-timed compliment or acknowledgment of great work goes a lot farther to show you care than an expensive gift. Most employees readily accept and search for affirmation from superiors, as it shows that they are doing their job well. Your employees will greatly appreciate your acknowledgment of their hard work.

Unique Gifts

If you’d like to single out certain employees on different occasions like birthdays, the birth of a child, or getting married, you can subscribe to our service and never miss out on your employees’ special occasions. 

You can also opt to keep a box of greeting cards in the office. Greeting cards aren’t cliche when you take the time to write a thoughtful, meaningful message! Write something from the heart, and you’ll be sure to get a smile from someone. 

Public Recognition

If your team has an atmosphere of healthy competition, this might work well for your company. Mass emails can be sent out that recognize employees for their hard work – not only are you congratulating them, but others will likely reach out to praise a job well done!

‘In the Fray’ Day

If you normally do your work from a separate office, take a day per week to sit amongst your employees and team members! Spend this time focusing on being personable and approachable; when an employee has a question, walk to his desk and talk about the situation.

If you already sit amongst your employees, simply try to get up more frequently. On your way to the break room, ask if anyone needs anything. These simple acts of kindness will show that you are thinking of others!

Employee Appreciation Day

One simple way to turn a regular day at the office into an appreciation party is to print off some lists. Take a look at the top percentage of agents who exceeded metrics, for example, and hang a list in the break room. Offer a token of gratitude that these employees can hang at their desks, like a printed certificate!

Make Appreciation a Daily Focus

At the end of the day, we all want to feel appreciated. It’s far better to focus on the everyday interactions with your employees than to spend time planning special events. Be approachable on a daily basis, and make sure to personalize the feedback that you give to your employees every month. As long as you support an atmosphere of respect, diligence, and humility, your employees will feel appreciated. 

Coworkers having coffee

Expressing Gratitude to Coworkers

The members on your work team are often a second family – you see each other forty (or more!) hours a week. You may even be friends with some of them outside of work. From time to time, you may want to show a bit of extra appreciation to your coworkers, aside from the usual high five or flat “thank-you”. Sometimes it’s nice to go out of your way a little bit to do something special for someone, even if it’s for no particular reason.

Showing Thanks to Coworkers

Pick up Some of Their Workload

If you work in a team environment where everyone does similar work, offer to take some of a coworker’s caseload or callbacks. This is especially helpful if they have covered your work at some point and you’d like to repay them. People who are struggling at home may also have a harder time keeping up with the quota they usually adhere to. If you want to help in some way, this is a great place to start.

Bring in a Coffee

Nothing says “hey, I was thinking about you” like a cup of coffee. It shows that your coworker or friend was on your mind as you went through the drive-thru this morning. Though extremely simple, this is an effective way to show someone you appreciate them.

Acknowledge a Job Well Done

Everyone loves being called out for their successes, including your peers. If your supervisor sends out a team email that cites an agent for great work, make sure to acknowledge their recognition in person.

Additionally, if you had a significant amount of help from a member of your team and you’d like to see them recognized, you can email your boss or mention their outstanding assistance during a team meeting. Explain the situation they assisted you with and let your boss know how much you appreciate your coworker’s hard work.

Be Specific

While a verbal “thank you” can be powerful, it’s best to go into detail about what you are grateful for, and how your coworker’s kindness or help made your day better. If you’re not great with in-person interaction, you could even write a message in a greeting card and leave it on your coworker’s desk; this will get the point across without you feeling uncomfortable.

Be Humble

Above all, let go of your need to be the best at everything. Sometimes you’ll need a little help from a team member; when you do, make sure to show your coworker that you are grateful! Being part of a team is often give and take; always aim to be the most giving, and you’ll be setting a great workplace example.