Although workplace gifting is not considered mandatory, most businesses encourage exchanges of gifts among employees, especially during the holidays. Giving a gift to a fellow employee or coworker is never easy. It’s hard to know exactly how much to spend, what they like and dislike and what gift is appropriate. The right gift should be given based out of respect and appreciation.

Giving gifts

The number one rule that you should always keep in mind when giving gifts at work is that they should be given to honor an existing working relationship, but not intended to establish a new one. Giving gifts to win favors from the boss or to impress a co-worker is not a good idea. Here are some five tips to consider when giving gifts at work.

Think of What Your Recipient Enjoys – With Reason

Sure, wine is what comes to mind for many people planning to give gifts at work. But, have you considered whether you’ve seen booze around the workplace, for example during a corporate event? Alcohol can be a tricky spot, as does any gift that touches on political or social commentary. Your spouse may like fine wine, but your manager may not be into it.

Just like selecting personalized gifts for her, you need to think about what your gift recipient enjoys, with reason, according to a top personalized gift shop. Ask yourself: what type of message does the gift convey about you? Is there a reason for the gifting? Whatever type of gift you’re buying, your selection should be thoughtful and show appreciation.

Don’t Get Too Personal

When it comes to workplace or office relationships, there’s often a thin line between being friendly and being inappropriate and intrusive. For instance, if one of your co-workers just got divorced, it’s not the time to present him or her with a membership to a singles dating site or a bottle of champagne. Select gifts that are easy to enjoy and fun, no matter the relationship.

Get Some Perfect Gift Ideas

While you may be spending five days a week with your co-workers and employees, picking a gift that suits them can be hard. The good thing is there are many perfect gift ideas for the workplace. An Entrepreneur article offers some great gifting ideas for employees, co-workers and the entire office. For instance, you can opt for beautiful planter boxes, a custom map, a pen desk set or a simple tech device like Kuri the robot that can automate tasks in the office.

When choosing gifts for the workplace, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Position – Consider what position they hold in the workplace and select a gift that suits them. For instance, if your boss is in IT, finding anything tech-inspired would be appropriate.
  • Personality – Think about who you’re buying the gift for. If the person is usually quiet, then you don’t want to buy an experience gift.
  • Age – Age also comes into play when buying workplace gifts. Someone younger may want something fun while someone a bit older would like a more practical and useful gift.

Christmas gift giving

Pay Attention to Cultural and Religious Differences

Today’s workplace is more diverse with different cultures, religions and lifestyles working in harmony. That means selecting your gifts should be done with having these differences in mind. You don’t want to select a gift with a political, cultural or religious theme. A political T-shirt or bumper sticker that may seem hilarious to you may actually be offensive to the gift recipient. Unless you know your fellow co-worker really well, always go for gifts that appeal to everyone.

It’s all About the Details

Just because you’re buying workplace gifts doesn’t mean that you should forget about the small details. The best office gifts are those that come with some level of personal touch. Presents and gifts with a personalized touch such as DIY mugs, homemade cards, gift certificates, picture frames and freshly baked cookies for your coworkers can be a great treat. And exquisitely wrapped gifts just make everything so much better.

Giving gifts in the workplace is not only a good way to show appreciation to employees, but it also nurtures the spirit of gratitude, giving and happiness among colleagues, according to an article on The Balance. When giving a gift to an employee or coworker, don’t forget to express your gratitude. It goes a long way into conveying the reason behind the gifting.