[Step-by-step] How to Build a Budget-Friendly Employee Appreciation Program with Loop & Tie
In this post

[Step-by-step] How to Build a Budget-Friendly Employee Appreciation Program with Loop & Tie

Read on for our step-by-step guide to launch your budget-friendly employee appreciation gifting program in less than a week.
Loop and Tie

Loop and Tie,

Think employee appreciation is all about fluffy feel-good gestures? Think again. 

  • Investing $250 annually per employee for employee recognition increases employee engagement by 21%. (OC Tanner)
  • 40% of employed Americans report they would feel more motivated if they received recognition more often. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Teams with low engagement usually have 18-43% higher turnover rates than highly engaged teams. (Gallup)

When you put it that way, formalizing an employee appreciation program doesn’t sound so fluffy anymore…

Instead, it’s a strategic investment in a better workplace culture and the success of your business – and the best part is that these programs don’t have to break the bank or bog down your to-do list!

Read on for our step-by-step guide to launch your employee appreciation gifting program in less than a week. 

3 ideas for easy employee appreciation programs

March 1st of every year is Employee Appreciation Day – a great opportunity to show your team how much they are valued. But is just one day a year enough?

Nope. No way.

In a corporate world that often puts profits over people, be the company that puts people first!

Some of our favorite ideas for employee appreciation are:

  1. Set up a peer-to-peer recognition program that encourages employees to celebrate teammates. 
  2. Develop a professional development program that provides employees with tools and resources to support their career goals.
  3. Create a gifting program to show your appreciation through personalized gifts on special (and not-so-special) occasions. 

And since we’re a gifting platform, we’re telling you exactly how to set up #3 using yours truly, Loop & Tie. 

What to do (and not do) when setting up an employee recognition gifting program

No one should have to settle for a generic gifting program! Follow these do’s and don’ts to build a program your team will love.


Plan regular and timely recognition acknowledging contributions and achievements as they happen, and celebrating important milestones as they’re met.

✅ Tailor your appreciation to fit the individual. No two employees are the same, so why should your program treat them like they are?

✅ Make sure the recognition is heartfelt and meaningful. Personalized notes, thoughtful gifts, and one-on-one conversations can mean much more than generic praise. 


❌ Wait for annual reviews to show your team recognition. Engage and motivate your team throughout the year!

❌ Rely on a one-size-fits-all approach that assumes every person values the same things. 

❌ Turn your program into another task to check off your to-do list. 

🎁 Loop & Tie tip: Choice-based gifting empowers employees with more options! The giver gets the opportunity to send a thoughtful, curated collection and personalized message, while the giftee gets to choose the option that fits them most.

Ready to set up a gifting program that’s simple, thoughtful, and budget-friendly? 

5 steps to set up a Budget-Friendly Employee Recognition Program with Loop & Tie

Step 1: Prepare your budget

Yes, you can have a great gifting program even on a shoestring budget! All it takes is a little creativity and a lot of intentionality. 

  • Determine how much you can spend on each individual. Our collections range from $25 or less to $500 and above, so there are options for any budget. 
  • Add credits to your Loop & Tie account based on your predetermined budget. This isn’t required, but it's a great way to keep track of your total gifting budget and easily manage spend.
  • Pick  a collection or multiple collections within your spending range or make a custom collection by logging into your Loop & Tie portal. 

One of the reasons our customers love us is because we offer choice-based gifting. In a nutshell, this means that giftees get to pick an item from a curated collection of gifts so they can choose what gift makes the most sense for their needs/lifestyle. 

🙌 Bonus for you: this approach is easy to budget for and reduces waste! 

Step 2: Identify opportunities to show your appreciation

Set your program up for year-round success by determining triggers and processes for seamless gifting.

  • Create a calendar of key dates or milestones (work anniversaries, holidays, employee achievements) for the year, and keep it updated monthly or quarterly. 
  • Set reminders for sending your gift campaigns, or schedule gifts to go out directly through the Loop & Tie platform.

🎁 Loop & Tie tip: Change the send date for scheduled gifts if plans change! You can also set a gift expiration date to limit how much time your recipients have to redeem the gift.

Step 3: Add personal touches

An appreciation gift should be special, so add a personal touch. 💝

Some easy ways to personalize your appreciation program with Loop & Tie:

  • Choose an eye-catching image or uplifting message from our design library for your gift email and redemption page
  • Use what you know about your team to curate a customized marketplace collection
  • Use a Custom Packaging collection to include custom insert cards and stickers (available for Essentials, Premium, and Enterprise plans)

🎁 Loop & Tie tip: You can upload your own card images if you have an upgraded plan. This is a great way to showcase your brand and values!

Step 4: Prepare to launch

🎁 Loop & Tie tip: Make sure to check the email & redemption page previews before you launch. This last step is key to ensuring your copy is perfect, your images are stunning, and your recipient names are displaying properly.

Budget set ✅

Calendar ready ✅

Customization done ✅

Now it’s time for the fun part – launch time!

You’ve already laid the groundwork for a seamless program, but here are a few more suggestions to ensure a low-stress gifting experience for you and your team.

  • Use email templates to keep your messaging thoughtful, appreciative, and consistent
  • Encourage your team to redeem their gifts as soon as possible, but also remember that Loop & Tie has pre-set automated reminders so you can breathe easy if they forget to claim right away.
  • If you have an Essential, Premium, or Enterprise account, you can make sending lots of gifts at once (up to 500 contacts) easier by using the bulk upload tool

🎁 Loop & Tie tip: Want to make your gifting program even easier? Our experts in gifting can build your campaigns with or for you so you don’t have to worry about any hiccups. 

Step 5: Use analytics for a more successful program

You had a successful send. Congrats!

Now what? 🤔

Analytics are critical for measuring ROI and refining your employee appreciation gift program. 

Here are three ways you can report on the program’s effectiveness:

#1 Use the Recipient Activity Report to track gift status, unredeemed gifts, and gift selection. 

There’s a lot of great info in this report to improve your program! One strategy we love is viewing what gifts were redeemed most to understand your team better. 

#2 Check your Campaign Engagement Score. This score is calculated based on your open rate, redemption rate, and re-engagement rate. It’s the best way to see the overall effectiveness of your gift campaign at a glance!

#3 Read through the thank you notes! This can be a super strong indicator of the success of your program (plus it’ll put a smile on your face, guaranteed). Log into the Loop & Tie portal, view Reports, and select the Thank You Notes feature.  

🎁 Loop & Tie tip: We think of sending a gift as opening a dialogue with recipients. Use this to build stronger relationships and learn more about employees.

How Banzai used gifting to enhance employee connection

Loop & Tie customer, Banzai, believes in creating more opportunities to engage their employees in authentic connection. That’s why they reserve some all-hands meetings for games and challenges – and use Loop & Tie to give gifts and prizes. 

The wide selection of gifts was the main draw for Ashley Levesque, VP of Marketing. If employees aren’t one-size-fits-all, why should the prize selection be?

Letting employees pick the perfect gift makes them feel more included and connected with the team. Maybe that’s why gift emails have a whopping 95% open rate and 75% redemption rate

Ashley sees the impact of choice-based gifting every time she receives a Thank You Note in her gifting portal, plus the added benefit of getting more insight into what the team likes and who they are as people outside of work. 

The “ripple effect” of employee recognition

Have you ever tossed a pebble into a calm lake and watched what happened next? It’s incredible to see how one small action can create a big impact. 

Employee appreciation can create a “ripple effect” that ultimately impacts your broader business outcomes – and all starts with showing your team members that you care. 

Here’s how it plays out:

Individual impact → recognition directly enhances motivation, engagement, and satisfaction, which leads to increased productivity and higher quality of work.

Team impact → recognized employees feel more connected with their peers and managers, and create a more collaborative and supportive work environment. 

Organizational impact → a culture of gratitude in the workplace attracts and retains top talent, and reinforces a cycle of performance and recognition.

Customer impact → happy employees are more fulfilled and productive, resulting in higher quality work, better products, and more satisfying experiences for customers.

Business impact → the snowball effect of improved individual performance, positive team dynamics, talent retention, and customer satisfaction leads to better business outcomes overall (yes, even including revenue!). 

That’s the positive ripple effect of employee appreciation at work!

Set up your employee gifting program in minutes

Loop & Tie makes it simple to start your own employee appreciation gifting program. Sign up for free to start gifting in less than five minutes, or book a demo to explore all of the features Loop & Tie has to offer!

About the Author
Eleifend fames netus lorem pretium, a. Duis non leo aenean eu, sed in aliquam malesuada. In aliquam iaculis nisl, proin mi. Nulla sed convallis lobortis nunc phasellus posuere at.

Related posts

No items found.

Start gifting right now—no subscription required

Unavailable for Personal accounts.