The perfect present for your supervisor, coworker, or employee is a great way to demonstrate how much you appreciate them, but an inappropriate gift can undermine that effort. Follow these gifting guidelines to ensure that your gesture of generosity sends the right message:
Know The Rules. Some companies have strict regulations regarding the types of gifts employees are allowed to give and receive. This can even be a matter of law for government agencies, with severe repercussions for the violation of gift limits and reporting requirements.
Keep It Modest. Even if there are no employer-imposed spending limits, don’t overdo it. The more generous you are with expensive gifts, the more you risk making someone in your office uncomfortable. Your colleagues shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if they lack the means or desire to reciprocate your generosity.
Forget About Alcohol. That bottle of wine that you consider a generous gift could be a thoughtless trigger for a recovering alcoholic, or useless to someone who chooses not to drink for personal, medical, or religious reasons.
Stick with Those You Know. You shouldn’t feel compelled to give a gift to someone you’ve never even met, and there’s nothing wrong with limiting your generosity to those in your own department.
Avoid Trinkets. Most of us have desks that are already overflowing, and the last thing we need is one more paperweight, coffee mug, or inspirational plaque.
Be Consistent. The gift you give to your assistant or intern should be just as nice as the one you present to your boss.
Keep It Appropriate. Never purchase anything for your boss or coworkers that could send the wrong message. Save the gag gifts for your personal relationships, and avoid giving anything that could even remotely be considered intimate.
Give to The Group. For holiday parties and other company-wide celebrations, consider a group gift that everyone can enjoy. Good food is generally well-received, so you could bake a tasty treat, or – if you aren’t much of a cook – surprise everyone with pastries and coffee from a bakery.
An appropriate gift is a great way to show the people you work with how much you appreciate them, and following these tips should help you ensure that you send the right message.