Yep, you know it: it’s that time again to be jolly. It seems like it was just yesterday that we finished up the holiday season. Like a bald cheetah, time speeds by, and you become acclimatized to the ever-fast pace of life. This includes getting ready for the holidays, especially if you work in a corporate setting.
Businesses tend to channel the holiday spirit before anyone else. They need to get prepared for the party, food, drinks and gift-giving, a taxing endeavour that can be time-consuming, stressful and costly. You may not enjoy it – just read a cartoon strip of “Dilbert” and you’ll see how it has become comical – but corporate gift giving is a must. And, remember, you can’t be cheap when you’re handing out gifts to your boss and manager, colleague and intern. You need to do your best.
Here are five tips for successful corporate gift giving this holiday season:
1. Make it Personal & Useful
When you want to avoid being the enemy of the office, you should purchase personalized corporate gifts that are practical and useful. Nobody wants air conditioned shoes, a USB pet rock and the DVD rewinder. They want something they regularly use. Even if you don’t know the individual too well, you can always find something that they will appreciate and incorporate into their daily routines, like steak knives or an on-the-go coffee mug.
2. Determine What HR Finds Acceptable
Depending what office you work at, some gifts are not acceptable to human resources. That’s right. Whether you’re giving presents to past clients or your manager, some gifts are strictly prohibited because they may be inappropriate or send the wrong message. In other words, perhaps you should simply stick to the gift card for a trip to the cinema.
3. Have a Budget for Gift Giving
In addition to purchasing gifts for your co-workers, you have to fork over dough to buy presents for family, friends, the grocer, the mailman, the landlord and a distant cousin twice removed.
Yes, the holidays can eat away at your wallet, but it would be prudent to start a budget.
By the end of the holidays, you don’t want to be one of those people who still paying off their Christmas debt by the time the next holiday season arrives. So, create a budget and stick to it.
4. Yes, You Need to be Gender Neutral
For some, they are perpetually offended. For others, they are just waiting to be offended.
To play it safe in today’s modern day work environment, it would be prudent to purchase gender neutral corporate gifts. An item shouldn’t be too feminine or too masculine, otherwise you could insult somebody or receive a visit from head of the HR department.
5. Keep it Practical & Classy
You may want to stand out from the crowd or you may want to be funny, but you shouldn’t aim for either. The best goals are to keep it classy and practical.
A corporate gift should be something that the recipient could utilize throughout the entire year as opposed to just once or twice. Moreover, the corporate gift shouldn’t be crazy or questionable. One more thing: be sure to place the gift in a nice box, wrapped nicely.
Every one of us welcomed the holiday season in our childhood. However, once you approach adulthood, you dread the 12 Days, primarily because of the cost factor. This is why some offices make it voluntary, or they ignore it altogether to be respectful of other cultures. That said, should your corporate setting decide to embrace the holidays, then you need to be cognizant of the cost, you need to be practical and you need to be considerate. By the end of it all, you won’t be Scrooge or Grinch, but more like George Bailey.