Holiday Gift-Giving Etiquette at the Office

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!  

  1. 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.
  3. 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.
  5. 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!”
  7. 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.
  9. 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.
  11. 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.
  13. Remember the office is not the place to get too personal, so make sure your gift will not make your coworker uncomfortable.
  15. 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.
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