5 Tips for Giving Your Boss the Right Gift This Holiday Season

Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Business Etiquette [ 0 Comments ]

Giving a gift to a boss can become a tricky situation if not handled properly. The wrong gift or present can send the wrong message or even insult your employer. However, this problem can be safely defused with a thoughtful, well-timed present. Therefore, it is important to spend a considerable amount of time picking the best gift possible.

What Presents to Avoid

It may be difficult to find the perfect gift for your employer, but there are certain “gifts” that should be avoided at all costs. First of all, an employee should not give cash as a gift. A present comprised of money bills has negative connotations, and may cause your boss to have a negative reaction. A better alternative is a gift card or gift certificate. In addition, an employee should never give favors or promises as a present. An IOU or a promise of a gift in the future conveys a negative impression; one that will likely affect your relationship with your employer.

How to Pick the Perfect Present for Your Boss

When choosing a gift for a boss or employer, it is important to spend some time and give it some thought. Without certain precautions, the employee runs the risk of making the boss feel uncomfortable or even placing himself or herself on their employer’s “naughty list”. Therefore, there are several important tips to keep in mind:

1. Gauge your Relationship

Before even considering a present, you’ll need to understand the nature of your relationship with your employer. Do you have a great relationship with your boss? Or are you managed by a terrible boss?  The answer to this question will have a major effect on the type of present you purchase.  For a spectacular boss, you may want to choose a present that is thoughtful and shows your appreciation. But for a less-than-stellar manager, a standard present will display the appropriate amount of thanks.

2. Preferences

Does your employer have any preferences or hobbies? Choosing a gift based on his or her likes or hobbies can help you determine the best present possible. For example, if your boss enjoys the occasional golf game, a new golf club can be appropriate. Or if your manager fancies himself as a wine connoisseur, then he will enjoy a nice bottle of fine wine. If you work for a smaller company and something this expensive doesn’t seem appropriate, you can still get a great gift. For example, a Starbucks gift card or coffee set would be perfect for the coffee lover (and affordable for your wallet).

3. Don’t Try to Impress

One common mistake is to choose a present in hopes of impressing the employer. Oftentimes, employees make the blunder of purchasing an expensive or highly personal present. However, this may make the boss uncomfortable or give them the impression that you are expecting something in return. These gifts are okay for a loved one, but keep the boss’s gift simple.

4. Pick an Appropriate Time

One important tip is to make sure that the employee picks an appropriate time to give a present. If an employee gives a gift in front of others, this may give the impression that he or she is trying to create a scene. Instead, find a time where you are alone with your boss, such as during a party or after work hours.

5. Follow Common Etiquette

There are general rules that are commonly known and understood with gift-giving. These tips are especially important when giving a gift to your employer. Some of these tips include: Give your gift discreetly and privately to avoid creating an awkward situation, make sure that you don’t brag about your gift to other co-workers as this will create a bad impression, and don’t give a gift expecting another gift, raise, or a promotion in return. A present should be given with heartfelt thought and honesty—without any expectations.

Every year, employees undergo the stresses of giving a gift to their bosses during the holiday season. An improper or hasty gift can cause more harm than good. However, with a bit of understanding and effort, you can find the perfect gift for your employer.

Photo Credit: stuff.co.nz

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