Business Gift-Giving Etiquette at the Office
Giving gifts in the workplace is a thoughtful way of letting colleagues and clients know that the business relationship you share is important to you. But gift-giving has its risks as well. If a present is chosen that is in a high price range or is too personal, even the best intentions can backfire. Following these suggestions from etiquette expert Peggy Post will take the stress out of gift-giving in the workplace and help enhance the joy of the season!
- If you’re stressing over what to give your supervisor or manager, consider giving a joint gift with several coworkers to a restaurant or simply give a holiday card.
- If you’re not sure whether someone celebrates a specific holiday, don’t guess. It is perfectly acceptable to give gifts that say “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” rather than a specific holiday sentiment.
- If a coworker or supervisor gives you an unexpected gift, don’t worry. Proper etiquette states that unexpected gifts do not need to be reciprocated. All that’s required is a friendly “Thank you!”
- If you are unsure of what to get for a colleague, a gift certificate is always a great choice. Just make sure you check with coworkers to see where the recipient shops or what type of hobby they may have.
- If your office does a grab-bag, make sure you all agree to the limit and stick to it. Don’t go over and certainly don’t go under the limit, which may embarrass others.
- If you and your staff give individual gifts instead of a holiday grab-bag, give gifts to selected individuals in private so that no one’s feelings are hurt.
- Remember the office is not the place to get too personal, so make sure your gift will not make your coworker uncomfortable.
- If you are part of a large group and want to acknowledge the holiday but don’t want to break the bank, try bringing in cookies, sending a virtual greeting or coordinating a pot luck luncheon. Many times a simple holiday card can say thanks for all the hard work and will have the biggest impact of all.