Some holiday gifts are appropriate to give to your colleagues at the workplace, while others are not. Giving a gift which is inappropriate could result in an awkward moment, or even cause tension between departments. Here are some best practices for ensuring that this doesn’t happen.
Remember That Everyone Has Different Tastes
The most challenging aspect of workplace gift giving is ensuring the gifts you provide are in accordance with the tastes of the recipient. A common mistake which is made by those who purchase gifts is selecting items based on their tastes as opposed of those of the recipient. This is a losing scenario for you and the recipient, as you’re wasting money on something they will end up not using or possibly even tossing in the trash.
Don’t Buy Your Boss A Gift Just Because They Give You One
If your boss gives you a gift during the holidays, rather than going out and buying them one in return, write up a nice thank you letter which acknowledges you have received it and show your gratitude. The trouble with buying your boss a gift is that you might not know what they want and you could appear to be “sucking up” which is never a good impression.
If You Buy A Gift For One Colleague, You Should Probably Buy One For Everyone
Favoritism is not a trait you want to demonstrate, especially during the holidays. Everyone has colleagues that they prefer over others, but you should never make it too obvious. So, if you decide to buy a Christmas gift for one person, you should ideally buy one for everyone in the department, and if your budget won’t allow it, then it’s probably best not to buy any gifts at all, as you don’t want to create hard feelings among others.
Know Your Company’s Culture
A gift which is appropriate for a colleague that works in a large business like Apple might not be appropriate for a colleague that works at a smaller business. Before shopping for gifts, you should carefully examine the culture of your company. Generally speaking, the more relaxing the company environment, the wider range you will have in the gifts you select. Learn the hobbies of your co-workers and listen to them during conversations to find out what interests them and what items they’d like to buy.
You should also purchase and distribute the gifts in advance since your co-workers will do their own Christmas shopping and may inadvertently buy the same things that you’ve already purchased. Distributing gifts to co-workers and especially your boss is a gesture that is personal, and it must be done in the right way, otherwise the feelings of one or both sides could be hurt, which won’t help company morale. Remember, you’re spending your hard-earned money on gifts with the expectation that those who receive them will be gracious, and following these tips will ensure they are!