Presents are a big part of a lot of celebrations. Birthdays, anniversaries, and even Christmas celebrations all come with the expectation of a gift attached. However, there are also occasions that might demand gifts in your professional life too.
For instance, if someone that you work with gets a promotion or leaves to pursue their dream job, you might want to buy them something to wish them well on their next step. If your boss or a close team member achieves a milestone in the number of years they’ve spent with the company, that’s an occasion for gift giving too.
So, how do you make sure that you’re giving a gift that’s still “suitable” for work.
Show Caution in Your Gift Choices
Just because you have a lot of fun and banter with a friend at work, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to give them a rude gift in the office. Remember, even if you know that the person who is going to be getting the gift will be fine with a little bit of dark humor, the rest of your team won’t always feel the same way. If you’re having a celebration that other colleagues are going to attend, you don’t want to give them the wrong impression.
You can give any gifts you like in private if you know that your colleague isn’t going to share them with the rest of your team and cause problems. However, it’s best to keep things simple and suitable when you’re choosing something for a work celebration.
Stick the Basics
Figuring out how to provide the best business gift is harder than it seems. On the one hand, you want to wow your boss or colleague with something that they’re going to love. On the other hand, if you choose something too expensive or personal, you could cause distrust among other coworkers. The last thing you want is for your team members to think that you’re sucking up or trying to bribe the boss.
Try to avoid anything that might come across as too expensive or personal. Simple gifts, like a new tie or a set of cufflinks, are generally good options. You can also stick to edible gifts, like a box of candy or a fruit basket. These presents rarely make the wrong impression, as long as you take taste preferences and allergies into account.
Decide if the Gift Should Come with a Party
Sometimes, gifts are a smaller part of a bigger party or celebrations. Other times, your present won’t demand a celebration too. For instance, if someone is leaving your business to start a career, then a leaving party is a great way to let them know how much you’re all going to miss them. On the other hand, if a team member is getting a promotion, they might prefer to keep things quiet around the office.
Start by thinking about the personality of the person you want to celebrate. Are they the kind of person who enjoys any opportunity for a party, or do they prefer not to be the centre of attention? It’s also worth thinking about how big of a deal the occasion is. If someone has been with the company for 6 months now, that probably doesn’t mean much to them. However, if your colleague has been with the business for 25 years, that’s a big deal.
Keep Parties Above Board
If you do decide that a party is the right way to go, be careful.
Stick to a minimal amount of booze if you can. Alcohol tends to lead to people saying the wrong things. In a professional environment, this can lead to poor relationships between coworkers in the future. It’s also worth remembering that you might be hosting the celebration in your office. That means that you can’t go too over-the-top with decorations.
Avoid taking the occasion too far by allowing everyone to blow off too much steam. If you’re concerned that people will feel nervous, consider whether you should avoid the party altogether, or just have a few friends get together after work instead.
One last tip for professional gift giving: if you’re the person getting the gift, make sure you say thank you. A hand-written note is always a nice touch, and it’s a great chance to show your colleagues that you appreciate them. Remember, they’re going out of their way to show you that they care about you.