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A Guide To Corporate Gift-Giving

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, Virgil cautions us. The same warning applies to gift-giving in the workplace. Beware of giving inappropriate gifts. After all, if it's the thought, not the gift that counts, then you wouldn't want your staff or clients to get the wrong message.

When giving gifts at work, be very careful what you choose. Gifts reflect the taste of intention of the giver. So, how do you make sure your gifts do not unintentionally step on someone's toes or break a moral code?

Gift-Giving Basics
Before giving anything, look into the office gift-giving policies. Some companies enforce a "no gift" policy. Make sure you find out about any such policies in your workplace before you pick gifts out. Otherwise, gift-giving can be embarrassing for you and the recipient.

The Gift-giving Fs
Functionality and fairness are two F words to consider when giving gifts to staff. If you are a boss and you feel your staff's most recent performance deserves a gesture of appreciation, make sure the gifts you give are both functional and equitable. Do not give one employee one gift and all the other employees another. Unless an employee has done something worth singling out, it would be wise to give everyone the same gift. Thus, you should not give Peter from Marketing, for example, a pocket watch while everyone else received pocket watch chains.

What to Give When You're on a Budget
The following are affordable and useful gift items:

- gift certificates from coffee shops, spas, and video shops
- food trays for all employees to enjoy
- a set of pens
- planners
- a box of tea
- a bag of imported coffee
- calendars

What to Give When You're Not
When you can afford to splurge, do so. After all, occasions for gift-giving seldom arise in the office. If you are giving gifts as a reward for stellar performance or a stunning surge in sales, you may choose gifts that are as memorable as the deed or the occasion.

* Pocket Watches and Pocket Watch Chains
A pocket watch is a classy gift. It brings to mind the sophistication of the days of old. Not only does it let people keep time, it lets them do so in style. You may give this timepiece with or without pocket watch chains. In choosing pocket watch chains, consider how the recipient will most likely use the watch. T-bar pocket watch chains are slipped through the button-hole of a vest. Shorter pocket watch chains let pocket watches dangle from the pockets. A word to the wise, however. Pocket watch chains are a separate purchase and will add to the tab. So, consider your budget before picking out pocket watch chains.

* Tickets
Admission to an exclusive presentation, live entertainment, or a very posh establishment will surely thrill any member of your staff. Movie tickets, concert tickets, and tournament tickets are highly welcome office presents, particularly if they are to events that are really difficult or expensive to get invited to.

What Not to Give at All
These items will be considered crass, no matter what the place or occasion:

* gag gifts
* liquor
* meat products
* perfume
* presents from discount or dollar stores

Whatever you decide to give, no matter who you are giving to, or how much you are willing to spend, make sure you do not give gifts that cross the line. In the office, the key to giving presents beautifully is to give presents in observance of gift-giving etiquette. Do not give too much, too little, too soon, or too strangely.

Submitted by:

Bradlley Mckoy

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