Home Business Business Gift-giving Etiquette

Are you an avid gift-giver? Does the idea of scouring the malls for the perfect gift to suit each person on your list, carefully wrapping each present in the intended receivers’ favorite hues, and watching them open it up with eager anticipation make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? You are living proof that it can, in fact, be much better to give than to receive.

There’s just one problem. When it comes to giving gifts at your place of business, you have no idea how to proceed. Thankfully, there are rules of etiquette to follow that will make your company gift-giving experience enjoyable for all.

Red saucer. Red paper clip. You really do know how to wrap a gift in someone’s favorite shade.

Business Gift-giving Etiquette

Be Inclusive

The whole point of gift-giving is to create joy, so it is important that no one feels left out. If you are bestowing a present upon some members of your team and not others, it will cause bad feelings; therefore, it is best to reward everyone or no one at all. If your funds are tight, but you want to reward everyone, you may want to consider giving them something they can share. As “Corporate Gifts: Consider These Tastes of Distinction” states, a gourmet food gift can take the guesswork out of gift-buying, satisfy even the pickiest palate, and enable you to demonstrate your profound appreciation for your team.

Be Personal

It is always a nice touch to select gift items that appeal to the recipient’s individual tastes, interests, and lifestyle. By taking the time to find something that is uniquely “them,” they will know that they are valued–not just as an employee or colleague, but also as a person.

But Not Too Personal…

Be careful, however, that you do not buy an item that is too personal. It is okay to buy the gardener in your office a pretty pair of gardening gloves, some pruners, or a brightly-hued hoe–but it is not okay to send her a dozen red roses. As Business Insider‘s “The Ultimate Guide to Office Gift-Giving Etiquette” offers, it is important to avoid anything that is too personal in nature like perfume, clothing, alcohol, tobacco products and, of course, red roses.

Be Financially Appropriate

There is a fine line between being extravagant and being cheap. You need to find the sweet spot right in the middle. If you are participating in a gift exchange, set a spending limit–but make sure it is an amount that everyone can comfortably afford.

If you are giving a gift to a service provider, vendor, or client, it is important to do a little research first. Emily Post’s “Corporate Gift Giving” recommends that you adhere to your own company rules and check with the HR department at the intended recipient’s company to see if they can accept gifts at all and, if they can, find out what dollar limit is placed on them.

You now know the ins and outs of corporate gift-giving. So, go ahead. Venture out on your shopping spree. And prepare for a night of glorious gift-wrapping.

What is the best gift that you ever received from a client or colleague?

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