Posts Tagged ‘work’

Some do’s and don’ts for exchanging gifts with coworkers



You’ve bought gifts for your significant other… your mother…. your children… your granny…. your BFF… but what about choosing holiday gifts for coworkers or bosses?

While there is nothing inherently complicated about choosing tokens of appreciation for one’s associates or superiors, the challenge is not just choosing the right token, but in choosing something without the potential to offend or confuse the recipient.

To help make the process go smoothly from purchase to presentation, here are some of the chief do’s and don’ts for office gift-giving.



* Make sure that you know your company’s policy on gift-giving. For example, are there specified or unstated spending limits?

* Be clear about who should be on your gift list.  Do you get gifts for everyone in your department or just those individuals with whom you interact most frequently?

* Different or the same? Choose thoughtful and tasteful gifts, whether buying a different item for each person or the same item for all.

* Consider gifts that can be used in the office, such as distinctive office supplies, a photo frame, gadget, calendar, or pen.

* Go for gifts that can be shared either at home or work, such as gourmet food items, books or plants.

* Find out if colleagues have food or plant allergies before selecting gifts in those categories.

* Take the time to package and wrap gifts with care.



* Overspend, especially when purchasing a gift for your boss.

* Kiss-up by giving presents to colleagues outside of your “gift circle” in order to make a good impression or curry favor.

* Choose “joke” or “gag” gifts, even for coworkers you think you know well. While the recipient might appreciate the gesture, it could be misinterpreted by others.

* Re-gift or give items that are used or in anything but pristine condition.

* Stray outside the limits of “good taste.” In other words, don’t even think about gifts that could be considered too personal (including clothing, perfume or jewelry) or are in any way political, religious, racial, or sexual.  And unless you are absolutely certain of the recipient’s tastes and habits, steer clear of alcoholic beverages of any kind.

* Give gifts that can be misconstrued as having a hidden meaning or agenda, such as flowers (especially roses), cash, lingerie, or personal hygiene products.

* Leave anyone out. Hurt feelings are hard to overcome and can strain otherwise productive working relationships.

Here are some co-worker and boss-friendly gifts from Things Engraved to get you started.

Are you buying gifts for co-workers this Christmas season? What about your boss? Share with us on Facebook.

Employee recognition – an inexpensive way to gain loyalty and reward good work


Whether you’re the head of HR for a large multi-national corporation or the manager of a small retail store, odds are you aren’t giving your employees the recognition they want or deserve. And yet we know good employees are more likely to leave a company if they don’t feel appreciated.

Creating a simple system to recognize employees for their hard work can help retain good employees and motivate existing employees to work harder.

Treat everyone

You can schedule periodic recognition for the entire staff. For example, if you have periodic busy times, once things slow down, treat everyone to coffee and muffins or gift cards to a local eatery. Another idea is to choose a holiday that is not normally recognized by employers. Surprise your staff with funny gifts for Groundhog Day or St. Patrick’s Day. They’ll have fun and the surprise will make them appreciate it more. One word of warning. Don’t do this at Christmas. Many employees expect a Christmas bonus and getting a muffin will seem like a cheap cop out.

Recognize a group or department

You don’t want to forget to recognize people for their hard work. If a department or team has done an exceptional job on a difficult project, give them all a special bonus. It doesn’t need to be expensive; a business card holder or a pen given as recognition of hard work can really make a difference.

Individual Rewards

While it’s important to recognize groups, don’t forget individual effort. There’s nothing more demoralizing than having a slacker get recognized when the really hard workers are ignored. So be sure to reward people for their effort. It’s easy for managers to feel like “she’s just doing her job” but everyone appreciates a pat on the back now and again.

Give a gift after someone does a great job on a project or recognize someone for length of service.

Employee of the Month

This can be a double-edged sword. Done well, and an employee of the month awards become coveted and cherished by employees. Done poorly and they are seen as recognition of the boss’ favourite and has nothing to do with merit.

If you choose to implement an Employee of the Month award, have clearly defined criteria for choosing the winner. Make sure every employee has the chance to vie for the award and knows what it takes to win.

To avoid the look of favoritism, try having a committee choose the award winners. Then the manager isn’t on the hook and everyone knows the process is fair.


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