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There is that time of year, every year, when employees begin to squirm in their seats about what they should get their bosses. “Last year’s fruitcake was a failure! If I don’t choose right, will I even get a bonus”. Bosses begin to squirm as well, “who should I give a gift to, who shouldn’t I?”
It is a shame that such a joyous effort of gift giving and gift receiving in the workplace is so nerve-wracking. So, it is my goal here to go over some groundwork to help you – as the employee or the boss – make the right decisions when giving out gifts.
(1) Who should the Boss give to.
As a general rule of thumb, the boss should try to give gifts to his/her direct office staff. Secretaries, personal assistants and other individuals who are his/her direct support staff. It is also acceptable for the boss to give gifts to corporate officers or department heads. Do not play favortism. Even if you share a particularly friendly relationship with one or more employees, it is not your place to reward them in a business setting for that friendship.
(2) Bad gift or no gift.
It is better, always better, to give no gift than to give a bad gift. No fruitcake, no ties, no calendars. Often, a card is the best solution. It is thoughtful, heartfelt, and not risky at all. If you are taking a risk, be absolutely certain. You do not want the awkwardness of giving a gift the boss already has or doesn’t want. Also, do not give gifts that may insult. Clothes that are too large, cologne or perfume, or anything else that might suggest that what they wear today or look like today is not acceptable.
It certainly is not easy, but getting a good business gift is possible. Good luck!