A Guide to Gifting in The Workplace

January 19th, 9:12 pm

A Guide to Gifting in The Workplace

Today, the workplace culture is constantly changing — especially with so many employees working in the office, remote, or in a hybrid model. Furthermore, you have several generations in the workplace at once: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. All of which are attending the same all-hands meetings or company-wide happy hours.

With multiple holidays throughout the year, and days like employee or boss appreciation day, it can be challenging for any one of these generational professionals to decide what to give their coworker. It’s even more stressful if you’re gifting to a manager or boss who’s decades older than you or vice versa.

Don’t worry. We’ve got a wrap on this. Our guide to gifting in the workplace will help you decide which gifts you should purchase for coworkers — whether they’re your workplace spouse, a casual deskmate, or even a manager or boss.

Below are the dos and don’ts of gift-giving in the workplace, along with an infographic and flowchart to help you decide the best gift for your coworkers.

Dos and Don’ts of Gifting in the Workplace

Gifting in The Workplace

Do: Always Aim For Inclusivity

From entry-level employees to the CEO, everyone should aim for inclusivity, especially when it comes to gifting in the office. For example, if you’re attending a gift exchange event or team-building activity, bring a gift that is gender-neutral and non-holiday-specific. For example, classic drink glasses, a candle or unique office supplies, and tech

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gadgets are all safe bets.

If you’re managing the holiday party and gift exchange, set and outline an individual or company-wide or spending budget. This way no major jealousy occurs and no one feels upset receiving a gift that's either too expensive or inexpensive.

Do: Maintain Professionalism

Try your best to maintain professionalism when giving gifts. For example, don’t give something too pricey or intimate. It might make others feel uncomfortable or will instigate office politics, and nobody enjoys that. If you want to give a more private gift, do so outside of the workplace or office.

Don’t: Gift Near Performance Review

If you have direct reports under you, then you shouldn’t give gifts around performance reviews. Gifts near performances can get awkward quickly. For instance, employees might feel resentful if they did not receive a bonus or raise. Vice versa, as a lower-level professional, you should also refrain from gifting to hire-ups or managers near reviews. The gift could be interpreted as a brown-nose type move.

Since lots of reviews occur at the end of Q4 or the beginning of Q1, you should gift to others at least three weeks before or after the review is scheduled to take place. If you’re worried about any overlap between gift-giving holidays and reviews, then schedule reviews to happen in mid to late January.

Don’t: Overspend on Gifts

Overspending on a gift is awkward for everyone involved. The person receiving the gift might feel embarrassed and other employees could be envious. A good rule of thumb is to keep gifts under $20 or if you’re gifting more luxurious items, make sure everyone gets one.

Now you know the dos and don’ts of gifting in the workplace. If you’re still having trouble determining a gift for your coworkers, take a look at the below infographic and flowchart from Redbubble.

A Guide to Gifting in The Workplace

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