Gift-giving in the workplace is a good idea as this can help build rapport and maintain good business relationships. When you are the one giving the gifts, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. Get personal but not too personal. There are some definitive dos and don’ts for office gift etiquette (mainly, don’t be too selective or offensive), but the real answer comes down to your particular work environment and your relationship with the people you work with.
Gifts For Co-Workers
1. Chocolates and coffee/tea assortments are thoughtful gifts, useful and not too personal. They also won’t break the bank when buying a lot of gifts for a lot of colleagues and are appropriate for both men and women. Food gifts are often safe bets, gift-packaged teas, fruit baskets, gift cards in small denominations to a coffee shop are all nice (shop here and here for hampers and fruit baskets on SME MarketHub).
2. Be discreet in the delivery. If you decide against buying all of your immediate co-workers a gift, be very discreet in the delivery so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. If you are giving gifts to co-workers, but not to everyone on your team, keep the gift exchange private; do it outside work hours. Otherwise, co-workers may feel slighted if they see you have given a gift to some people but not them.
3. Don’t be too cheap. Buying inexpensive gifts that you know serve no purpose or will not be used is a bad idea. Gifts, no matter what the cost, should be thoughtful. Is it something you would be happy to receive? Is it something you would put in a drawer, never to be seen again?
Gifts For Your Boss
1. When giving to your boss, be sure not to make the wrong impression. Some workers believe most employees give their bosses gifts in order to get ahead. Your boss should be buying you the gift. If you feel you must buy your boss a gift, it should be under a certain amount that wouldn’t break your bank and not a personal gift.
2. Don’t play the “my-gift-is-better-than-your-gift” game. Don’t compete with others to give your boss the ‘perfect’ gift. Rather, join forces, combine resources and get her/him something she/he can really use or enjoy, it could be dinner/tickets to an event, museum or ‘Y’ membership, spa day, etc.
3. Don’t show off. If you are an employee gifting a boss, be careful that you don’t come across as a brown-noser. Pick something simple, homemade is even better, like a cake and include a simple note such as “I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.”
So if you find yourself running out of ideas on what to give your colleagues or boss this Christmas, we have compiled a list of gifts for you. And you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank by buying these gifts. All the gifts under this list are very affordable and easy to find.
1. Books: Nothing beats the gift of knowledge during the holiday season.
2. Gift baskets: This is something you can readily buy at the mall or grocery store. But if you have time, you can also create your own gift basket and add your personal touch.
3. Coffee mugs: It’s so cliche, but it’s better than nothing.
4. CDs/DVDs: Is your colleague/boss a fan of a particular movie, artist or song? Why not buy them a music album or a movie for Christmas?
5. Pen holders: You colleague or boss will never struggle to find a pen ever again.
6. Box of treats: Unless your officemate has a particular food allergy, a box of treats (chocolates, candies, etc.) is pretty much a foolproof gift.
7. Hygiene kits: A nice package of hand sanitiser, moisturiser and antibacterial wipes is a thoughtful gift to give someone.
8. Beverages: If you are observant, you will know by now who among your officemates are die-hard coffee or tea drinkers. So why not a box of hard-to-find coffee or a special box of herbal tea as a Christmas present?
9. Water bottles: We all drink water so everyone could use one.
10. Food keepers: Useful for storing and heating food as well as for keeping that unfinished slice of pizza that you had for lunch.
11. Scarves: For the ladies when it gets extra cold in the office.
12. Planners: Some people need a little more planning in their life.
13. Desk calendars: For those who need a little help keeping up with deadlines.
14. Printed photos: Find a group photo of you and your officemates, print it, write a meaningful message at the back and voila! You have the perfect holiday gift.
15. Greeting cards: The ultimate last-minute gift, Christmas cards may not be worth that much, but it’s the thought that counts.
You can shop for your Christmas items on SME MarketHub. Click here to get affordable prices from as low as N3,000.
What other gifts can you give to your colleague(s) or boss? Share in the comments.