Unique Employee Appreciation Gifts Your Team Will Love

by Katie Sawyer, 3 minutes read
HOME blog unique employee appreciation gifts your team will love

From grocery clerks to postal workers to nurses, shift workers play vital roles. But nearly 96% of shift workers say that they feel they deserve more respect.

Based on survey responses from 2,000 Americans across the United States, consumers agree. But they’re not just talking the talk — they’re walking the walk.

Read on to learn how consumers are showing their appreciation for shift workers, and find out some unique appreciation gifts your team will love.


Consumers were mostly all on the same page that shift workers deserve more respect and appreciation — and many of them have decided to take this into their own hands.

Since the pandemic began, consumers have become significantly more generous when it comes to opening up their wallets.

The average consumer studied was found to have increased the amount they tip by 11%, while nearly half of all respondents have tipped 20% of their bill or more since the beginning of the crisis.

Restaurant servers have seen the biggest increase in tips from consumers, with 39% of those studied saying they’ve begun tipping them more since the pandemic started. Thirty-eight percent say they’ve been tipping delivery drivers more, with 29% saying they’ve increased their tips to their Uber/Lyft drivers.

But consumers are tipping many other workers, too.

  • Retail clerks - 23%

  • Grocery baggers - 20%

  • Salon/spa employees - 20%

  • Bartenders - 19%

  • Parking attendants - 18%

Outside of the box ideas

In addition to money, consumers are showing their appreciation by giving back what they can.

When supplies were running low and workers were pulling extra hours, consumers stepped in. Aside from tipping, close to two-thirds (63%) of Americans have made other appreciative gestures since the pandemic started.

  • 34% have donated items (like PPE)

  • 33% have thanked their employers for their work (33%)

  • 28% have made a monetary donation

  • 24% have even provided food to essential workers

To help encourage your customers to make other donations, set up donation stations. Set up special, socially-distanced designation stations and use your internal communications app so staff know how to direct customers to the locations.

Say thank you

Your staff and customers keep your business going. A simple “thank you” when staff go above and beyond for a customer, or relaying a compliment an employee received from a shopper, can both go a long way.

But you can ask your customers to share their words of appreciation, too. Use your social media to solicit appreciation notes and share them with your team.

When 2,000 consumers were polled, they were asked to describe one thing they learned about shift workers during the pandemic that they didn’t know before.

  • “How hard they work for little to nothing.”

  • “Their loyalty.”

  • “Courage, humility, and dedication.”

  • “Their job is our backbone.”

Share those sentiments with your team to show that their work matters and that people notice the hard hard they do.

Leading through appreciation

Whether you manage a team at a small clinic, retailers in a hardware store, or hospitality workers in a brewery, COVID-19 has clearly brought issues related to employee appreciation to the fore.

Download How Consumers Are Creating Seismic Shifts in the Shift Work Industry to learn what 2,000 consumers have to say about the shift work industry — and what managers can do to keep up.

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