3 Rules To Follow When Giving Gifts To Work Colleagues

A lot of people give gifts to work colleagues around the holidays, but it can be tricky to navigate. You have better relationships with some colleagues than others so you might only feel like you want to buy gifts for certain people. There is also the question of how much you should spend and if you are even obligated to get people gifts in the first place. If you get it wrong, it can lead to some awkward situations in the workplace, so there are certain guidelines you should always stick to. These are the most important rules to follow when buying gifts for work colleagues.


Set Clear Expectations 

Setting clear expectations from the outset is a good way to make sure that nobody feels uncomfortable about gift-giving. It ensures that nobody feels pressured into giving a gift when they don’t want to and it also avoids any big discrepancies in how much people spend. It’s a good idea to use a tool like Elfster to set up a secret Santa-style gift exchange. That way, you can go around the office and ask people if they want to participate or not. You can also set a spending limit, so everybody knows exactly what is expected. This is the best way to handle things because everybody is on the same page and there are no awkward situations where one person turns up with an expensive gift.

Don’t Be Too Adventurous 

This might sound like bad advice when buying a gift, but it’s good practice to follow in the workplace. Normally, it’s good to get somebody something adventurous that they might not have considered buying themselves, but with work colleagues, you don’t necessarily know them well enough to make that judgment. It can lead to difficult situations if people clearly don’t like the gift they receive, even if they are all given anonymously. It’s best to stick to gifts that always go down well and remember, this is a workplace, so keep it professional.

Avoid Giving Cash

Giving cash as a gift is not particularly thoughtful and there may be ethical issues involved if you give cash in the workplace. This is especially true if you give cash to people that work under you. The only time that cash should be given to employees in the workplace is as a bonus and it all needs to be above board in terms of taxes etc. So, giving cash is a risk that could cause a lot of problems, which is why it’s best avoided.


However, if you are really stuck on ideas and you want to give somebody a bit more freedom to choose what they want, gift cards are a better option. This is similar to giving cash but it’s more acceptable in the workplace and won’t cause problems. Just make sure that you do your research first and work out what they like. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting them a gift card that never gets used.


Giving gifts to work colleagues can be tricky, but if you follow these important rules, you should be fine.


Candid Mama

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