Gift giving is a serious business, especially when it comes to your colleagues at work. There may or may not be anything about the policy of gift exchange in your employee manual, but when the time comes, you need to follow that unwritten rule of etiquette.
It is true that people spend a lot of time with their office colleagues but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they share close, personal bonds. Your office is not your home and you need to remember this when you buy your coworkers gifts for any occasion.
Follow the rulebook
Some organizations have rules about gift exchange among employees. Read these carefully and adhere to them. If you have any doubts, consult the human resources department. You wouldn’t want to be pulled up for breaking rules by giving a gift.
Your office is not the place to boast about your high wages. Keep in mind that all workers do not get paid equally, and an extravagant gift from you will lead to misunderstanding and conflict.
Know the limit
Certain kinds of gifts are best avoided. These include alcohol, cigars, perfume, clothes and personal items. You may consider it a joke but it can be taken the wrong way by the recipient or others in the office.
Who is it for?
Learn as much as you can about the person for whom you are buying the gift. Observe his or her workstation and get a clue from the items displayed. They may like animals, books, music etc.
If you’re still clueless, there’s no harm in asking them what they would like for a gift. Or you can also approach someone who knows them well and inquire about that person’s tastes and interests.
If you still can’t find out what they like, there are some common gifts that you can give. These are office related items like pens, planners, desk calendars, photo frames etc.
The gift you give should not become a source of distress. So try your best to give a thoughtful gift to your colleague.