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Tips for Corporate Holiday Gift Etiquette

Always Ask Before Giving
Enquire about the company’s gifting policy. Many corporations do not allow their employees to receive a gift of any sort…while others have set guidelines on the value or type of gift. A departmental gift that can be shared by all is an excellent way to show appreciation.

Avoid Gifts That Are Too Personal
Never give a gift that could give the wrong impression. It is always better to be safe than sorry. A gift that is too personal or too expensive may be perceived as a bribe. What’s acceptable? Gift baskets, office related items, gift certificates and books are good choices.

“Oh, You Shouldn’t Have!”
The truth is... you do not have to. Just because you receive a gift does not mean you must give one in return. When an employer gives a gift, often an employee feels uneasy about not reciprocating. Should the employee choose to present the boss with a gift, there is no need to match the dollar amount of the boss’s gift. A well-written thank you note is always in order.

“Nine-To-Five No-No”
Unless it is a company Holiday party, avoid giving gifts during working hours. It is not only distracting, but can create jealousy if people receive gifts of perceived unequal value. Many firms use the “Pollyanna” name drawing gift approach with set spending limits…the random nature of this method ensures no ones feelings get hurt. Special gifts for select employees should be given separately without an audience.

Tenure Based Giving Is Acceptable
It is fine to set gift value levels based on company tenure. If you have an employee who has been with you for only a year or less, a nice plant or gift basket would be appreciated and is appropriate. For that loyal manager with ten years of outstanding service, a gift with a higher value and/or a Holiday bonus is deserved.

It Is The Thought That Counts!
A well thought out less expensive gift is enjoyed and appreciated more than a last minute expensive gift. Plan ahead and expect to spend time selecting your appropriate business gifts… gifts that show thought, show you care and are sincere in your expressed message.

Need To Return A Gift?
If you receive a gift from a client or vendor that is too expensive or personal, send it back immediately with a note that thanks the sender for the thought, but also explains your company’s gift guidelines.




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