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10 Tips for Workplace Gift-Giving

pexels-photo-296878.jpegThe holidays should be a time of appreciation and celebration. Unfortunately, it often becomes stressful and frustrating for employees everywhere who face the prospect of giving or receiving gifts at work. The below list details 10 tips for enjoying surviving holiday celebrations at your workplace. 

1. Check your company’s policies. Before you spend time and money purchasing gifts for your co-workers remember to check with HR. Many companies, especially large companies, have guidelines that restrict the type or value of gifts that can be accepted.

2. Keep it voluntary. It should never be mandatory for an employee to purchase gifts for co-workers.

3. Stay professional. Make sure you understand the company’s culture before you give a “gag” gift.  

4. Be fair. If children have taught us one thing during the holidays it is that you have to be fair. Giving everyone the same gift is the preferred method of workplace gift-giving. If you plan to give gifts to only a few co-workers with whom you are particularly close, do so outside work. Showing favoritism, even accidentally, can be extremely counter-productive, and sometimes detrimental to your company’s culture.

5. Keep it simple. Try to tailor your gift to the taste and personality of your co-worker.

6. Everything in moderation. Don’t over do it! Extravagant holiday gifts can make your co-workers uncomfortable.

7. Set rules. Before you suggest a company-wide gift exchange make sure to set a few rules – such as: participation is optional, determine a price limit and document rules about what types of gifts are appropriate.

8. Keep it secular. If you decide to give gifts to employees make sure to keep it secular. Avoid gifts related to religion (or politics) unless you are absolutely certain of the individual’s beliefs.

9. Avoid items that may be considered too personal. Steer clear of giving gifts that could be misinterpreted.

10. Baked goods are king. If you are unsure about what to give your co-workers, treat them with sweets. Baked goods are a great opportunity for employees to show their thoughtfulness without being viewed as going overboard.

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