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Gift Giving At Work – The Five W’s


By Dean Schwartz (SWAG Master): Thinking about giving a gift to someone at work this year? The holidays are a great time to show your colleagues you care and appreciate them. But what gift should you get? How much should you spend? Do you need to buy a gift for everyone? Navigating gift giving at work can feel like a minefield. One misstep and suddenly you are spending the new year surfing job search websites.

No need to panic. Buying a gift for someone in your workplace can still be a positive experience. Everyone likes receiving a thoughtful gift. Take some time to think through the who, what, where, when, and why, and you will feel like the office Santa Claus in no time. Thankfully, we have put together a few guidelines to help you with your gift giving at work process.

Gift Giving At Work – The Five W’s

gift giving at work 1

WHO – It seems obvious, but you need to identify who you are giving a gift to. Are you giving to your clients, your co-workers, your boss, your employees? Keeping your relationship to the gift recipient in mind is hugely important. Different people receive gifts differently. For example, a monetary gift to your assistant may be acceptable, but the same gift to your boss would likely not be received as well. You’ll also want to keep in mind your own company and company culture. Read more about this on our secret Santa blog.

WHAT – There are lots of great gifts to choose from, but the top rule is “keep it safe”. You don’t want to give anything too personal. But what is considered too personal? A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that touches someone’s body. Sweaters, jewelry, lotion, perfumes are all examples of overly personal gifts. Gift certificates and food products are always safe bets. But don’t be afraid to get a little creative too. Books for an avid reader or a chess set for the aspiring chess grandmaster are great personalized gifts that don’t overstep.

WHERE – If you are not getting gifts for everyone, then probably best to not give your gift at the office holiday party. Getting gifts for only some folks is fine, just don’t give it to them in front of everyone else that is not getting one. Also, try to give your gift in person if possible. Leaving your gift on a desk or in a mailbox is okay, but giving it face-to-face provides an additional personal touch.

WHEN – The holidays are always a great time to give gifts. But it is not the only time you can give someone a gift. Birthdays, work anniversaries, special occasions, or “just because” are all great reasons to give a gift to someone.

WHY – You don’t ever need a reason to give a gift, but it is always great to include a personal message. Add a handwritten note with your gift letting your recipient know you appreciate them.

Ready to start looking for a gift? If you’re still a little hesitant, don’t worry. SOBO Concepts can help you find the perfect gift for whoever your recipient may be. Give SOBO a call 888.752.0432 or email info@soboconcepts.com to get your gifts ordered today.

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