3 Things to Consider Before Giving Gifts at Work
Before trying to decide on the right gift for someone at work you should first consider three very important things: Motive, Relationship, and Money.
Are you giving because you feel that you have to? If yes, think again. If you give a gift reluctantly, it is likely to show in some way. Instead of giving a cheap or thoughtless gift because your heart (or pocket book) is not in it, give a gift card or greeting card instead.
What is the relationship you have with the person you are giving a gift to? Is it purely professional or a combination of friendship and professional? The more formal your relationship, the more formal the gift should be (and less reason to give one in the first place).
Gifts should honor existing relationships, not be given as a way to create them.
You do not have to spend a lot of money on any one gift (in fact, business etiquette does not require you to give a gift to anyone in the workplace), but will giving to one person create a situation where you will then need to give to others as well? And, even a ten dollar gift can still be a financial hardship for many people.
If you cannot afford to give gifts, don’t, but do not apologize or make excuses for not giving gifts. Treating others with respect and appreciation throughout the entire year is gift enough and if you apologize too strongly you will just make the other person feel bad.
If giving gifts will hurt your financial situation, just give greeting cards instead. But if you truly feel not giving a gift to your boss will hurt your career more than your pocket book I refer you back to items number one and two, above.