It’s usually not necessary to get your manager a gift. However, if you have a strong professional relationship and you want to celebrate them, there’s no reason why you can’t offer something unique, creative, and thoughtful gift that your manager will cherish. Gifts are always appreciated – especially when they’re unexpected!
Whether it’s a holiday, birthday, or “just because” you appreciate the way they lead your team, finding the right gift for your manager is important. It should be unique, thoughtful, and not something they’ve received from other people a dozen times before.
Of course, you can always go with standard “office gear.” It’s safe and never really goes out of style. Plus, most office supplies will get used no matter what. They’re also often very professional and you can even add your own personal touches by customizing them. Let’s be honest, a good, old-fashioned coffee mug will always be appreciated and get used.
But, if you want to be a bit more creative with your gift-giving, we’ve got you covered. We’ve put together several categories full of unique and thoughtful gifts your manager will love. From the small and meaningful to the big ticket items the whole team goes in on, consider some of these ideas the next time you want to celebrate your team leader.
Small and sentimental gifts for managers
Sometimes, the smallest gifts can have the biggest impact. If you want to get your manager a “just because” gift or something to say “thank you,” try some of the following.
- A personalized coffee mug (or a photo mug)
2. A desk calendar
3. Texting gloves for winter
4. An Airfly Pro to connect AirPods to plane audio (if your manager travels a lot)
5. A digital picture frame
6. An organizer tray for their desk
7. A small desk plant
You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to give one of these gifts, nor do you have to break the bank. Almost all of them can be made more personal in some way, so don’t be afraid to add a few finishing touches that might mean something extra.
Gift ideas for remote managers
Remote work has been on the rise for years. The COVID-19 pandemic caused it to skyrocket, and many businesses have kept that model going. Whether your whole team works remotely or just your manager, you can help them out by considering gifts that might make their remote work life a little bit easier.
Think about what your manager might really need when they work from home. It can be a struggle to strike a healthy work-life balance or find a lot of free time to do what they want. Gifts that promote time management and stress reduction are perfect. Consider some of the following for your favorite remote manager.
8. A planner to help them stick to a routine
9. A recipe book to help them cook healthy meals
10. Calming essential oils to promote healthy sleep habits
11. Home office equipment
12. A gym membership or workout gear to use at home
13. A home shredding service to free up some of their time and take away some clutter
14. Grocery gift cards or a meal delivery service
Just because your team works remotely doesn’t mean you have to feel disconnected from each other – including those on a managerial level. If you send your manager a gift that suggests you understand exactly what they’re going through in a work-from-home environment, they’re likely to appreciate it more than you might realize.
Perfectly practical gifts for your managers or boss
Wanting to get your manager a practical gift doesn’t mean you need to purchase something with no personality attached to it. Practical gifts can be just as creative and unique if you put the time into thinking about what your manager could really use. Some of the best ideas for practical gifts they’re bound to use almost every day include:
15. Personalized stationery
16. Gift cards to their favorite stores or restaurants
17. An under-the-desk treadmill
18. A leather desk notepad
19. Blue light-blocking glasses if they’re staring at a screen all day
20. An eyeglass holder
21. A personalized mousepad
22. A personalized ink pen
Pay attention to the things your manager uses each day. Or, consider some items they might need to make their workday a little easier. Practicality can be personal. When you put your focus on things your manager might truly need, they’ll know you’re looking out for them. They’ll know that you saw a need that had to be filled, and you took the initiative to fill it. That kind of care gives practical gifts a whole new meaning.
Creative gift ideas for the foodie manger
Whether your manager has a sweet tooth, an appreciation for fine wine, or loves to try foods from all over the world, food items can be great ideas – especially for the manager who seems to have everything else.
The possibilities and options when it comes to food gifts are nearly endless. You can go with something simple like a bottle of wine or a box of candy. Again, small gestures can go a long way. However, if you want to take things a step further, consider some of the following ideas.
23. A cheese-tasting box
24. A gift card to their favorite restaurant
25. A cold brew bottle
26. A craft cocktail kit
27. Recipe books
28. A personalized cutting board
29. A Chemex and a bag of their favorite coffee
If you know that your manager is a fan of a particular food, beverage, or type of cuisine, you can also do your research and find monthly subscriptions of just about any food. From cheese and wine to chocolate and pickles, there are subscription boxes that feature ingredients and dishes from all over the world that can be delivered straight to their door each month. It’s truly a gift that keeps on giving.
You might also want to consider signing them up for a cooking class if you think it’s something they’d enjoy. The last thing you want is to add something to their schedule that will cause more stress than relaxation, so try to get a feel for whether they would actually like taking a class before you pay for more than one session.
Tech-forward gifts for managers
There’s no denying that we’re living in a digital world. Depending on the industry you’re in, your manager might rely on a lot of technology in their professional life, but they might also enjoy the latest and greatest tech gear for their personal life, too.
If you know your manager loves staying tech-forward and that they’re always looking for the latest and greatest digital gadgets, consider a tech-friendly gift they’ll be able to use every day, including some of the following.
30. Charging stands for phones and smartwatches
31. A smartwatch
32. A smart notebook for jotting down information during meetings
33. A wireless mini photo printer
34. A temperature control smart mug to keep their coffee warm all morning
35. A smart water bottle to remind them to stay hydrated
36. Apple Airtags for their luggage or other belongings
As you can see, these tech gifts run the gamut in terms of relatively basic to advanced. You might not be able to afford things like a smartwatch on your own, but those can be bigger items that several members of your team go in together. Other tech gifts don’t have to blow your budget. Do some research and consider tech gifts that your manager might not know about. If they’re a technology lover, they’ll be surprised and delighted to get something unexpected.
Gifts for managers that encourage self-care
Whether your manager works remotely or seems to spend as much time as possible in the office, everyone could use a little more self-care. When someone is in a leadership position and tends to put everyone else’s needs above their own, self-care becomes even more important.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, but a good manager tends to give all they can of themselves before finally doing something to promote their own well-being. You can take matters into your own hands by getting them a gift that encourages self-care and promotes their health and wellness. The possibilities are endless, but consider some of the following to get you started.
37. A spa gift card
39. Creams and lotions
40. Bath bombs and essential oils
41. A high-quality plush robe
42. A bathtub caddy/shelf
43. An eye mask to help with tranquil sleep
Self-care items can easily be incorporated into someone’s existing hobbies or interests. Take the time to get to know what your manager likes, and there’s bound to be a gift or two out there that allows them to partake in those activities more often. For example, if they love exercising, consider getting them a yoga mat or personalized water bottle. If they like to unwind and relax through the written word, consider getting them a few books in a genre they enjoy, or a personalized journal they can use to jot down their thoughts.
Whether you’re trying to think of something major to get your manager for the holidays or you just really want to show them your appreciation, you can always consider some bigger, more expensive items.
Of course, you shouldn’t feel obligated to go all out for a big-ticket item on your own. It’s usually not practical, and if your co-workers found out about it, they might feel like they have to live up to a higher standard of gift-giving. They might also get a bit jealous or worry that you’re trying to “get ahead” by giving something major to your leader. While that might seem silly, it can, unfortunately, happen – even in close-knit office environments.
Consider talking to your co-workers about a big-ticket item your manager might enjoy. When you all pool your money together, it’ll be much easier to purchase something more extravagant without digging too deeply into anyone’s bank account. This kind of extravagant gift should really speak to your manager’s interests, or something you think they really deserve but would never buy on their own, including the following.
44. A new vehicle, especially if they’ve been driving the same old car or truck for years
45. A personal laptop to help them work more efficiently
46. A smartphone if they’re constantly using theirs for business and their personal life
47. A tropical vacation or a trip to a location they’ve always talked about
48. A luxury cruise – ideally for their whole family
49. Paying off a major expense you know they’ve been struggling with
50. Opening a savings account for them
51. Paying for family members in different parts of the country to come to visit
Bigger, more expensive items should be well thought out, and not given flippantly. When you’re offering up a big-ticket item, chances are your leader will have a rough idea of just how much it costs, and how much each person had to contribute to make it happen. That will be even more impactful if the gift has a true meaning behind it.
The generous gift of gratitude
As you can see, there’s no shortage of creative and thoughtful gifts that could show your favorite manager just how much you appreciate them. The best part? These ideas barely skim the surface. The best gifts come from the heart and aren’t just something you buy out of obligation.
With that in mind, however, one of the greatest gifts you can give your manager is the gift of gratitude. Sometimes, a simple word of appreciation goes a long way, especially when you know your manager gives everything they have to your team. An appreciation card or a small note attached to any of these gifts will make them even more meaningful.
So, while expensive things can be unforgettable and small tokens can touch the heart, don’t forget to be open and honest with your manager about why you appreciate them so much. It will make your gift stand out, and make it much more memorable whenever your manager puts it to use.
Hopefully, these gift ideas have made it easier to find the perfect present for your manager. There’s never a bad time to show your appreciation, and you never know how much a thoughtful gift can impact someone’s life.