What? Whom?? When??? How much????
No, those aren’t the ramblings of a confused mind, that’s US doing our corporate gift planning! Diwali is round the corner and if, like us, you’ve got corporate gifting on your mind, you know that selecting the right gift for those you work with is not always straightforward. With all the stakeholders involved: employees, clients, vendors, investors, other business associates; the last thing you want to do is make an embarrassing gifting gaffe! If in doubt about whether to give or not to give, take a look at our corporate gifting guide.
Get the full low-down on gifting etiquette at your workplace
Gifting can work very differently at different offices. Gift giving is a strict no-no at some companies; some have an elaborate gifting tradition during the festive season; whereas others may have a more middle of the road approach. Most offices do have specific rules when it comes to corporate gifting, so find out what works and what doesn’t at yours.
A gift for the boss? And super boss?
Even if gift giving during the festive season is customary at your office, find out the policy about whom you may/ may not gift to. Gifts for everyone including the boss? Or just your peers and subordinates? Check with your colleagues or HR about specific gifting etiquette. You don’t want to be the one gifting the boss a smart tech toy, only to find out it’s against the rules to get him even a box of candy (there goes the promotion!). Similarly, with your clients or business partners, make sure to check the company policy and stick to that.
How much should you spend?
Again, when it comes to the budget, every office is bound to have its own corporate gifting etiquette. In some places the budget over which you cannot exceed is clearly specified; at others you have to stick to gifts of the same amount for everybody and at yet other places you can select gifts based on the individual’s level and your interaction with them. Play it safe and ask around so you’re clear on the guidelines. A good idea is to ask your colleagues what they gifted/ received as gifts the previous year.
When in gifting doubt, PEP!
So you have the office gifting protocol sorted. But what on earth are you going to get your boss/ colleagues? Remember the golden rule: PEP. Keep it professional, be equitable, and where appropriate, personalize. Stay away from overtly personal gifts or even remotely inappropriate ones. Professional items like desk or travel accessories work well and food items like gourmet arrangements are a fabulous idea too. Need inspiration? Check out our earlier post on uber cool corporate gifting ideas!
If you know someone at work really well, you can tailor the gift to their preferences as long as you stay within the professional realm. A set of tea infusions for a colleague who is a renowned tea aficionado, for example. And lastly, make sure to keep things equitable. Whatever you gift a person at a certain level, should be gifted to everyone at that level. You can choose a larger gift for your personal assistant or your core team members. When it comes to the boss, keep the relationship you two share in mind while selecting a gift. Personalized but professional gifts work best, but if you’re unsure about what to get, play it safe and opt for a simple yet classy card or handwritten note.
Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the gifting process. Heartfelt gifts are the ones that convey your wishes in the best possible manner!
We hope we’ve helped demystify the Complex Corporate Gifting Conundrum (known to give some peeps sleepless nights!). If YOU have any tips you’d like to share, do tell us in the comments section!