Exchanging gifts is a crucial part of forming connections, and this practice often extends into the workplace. Unfortunately, gifting mistakes and reckless decisions in a business environment can cause real harm to these vital interactions. Here are nine corporate gifting mistakes to avoid in the workplace.
Gifts Between Coworkers
More often than not, gift-giving in the business world happens between peers. It’s not uncommon for a company to host a Secret Santa event or for a team to exchange gifts around the holidays. Work anniversaries, retirements, and even award ceremonies happen throughout the year, and these usually involve a few gifts, too.
Before buying a gift, consider the fact that you work with many of these people on a daily basis. Getting your gift choices right can not only help your team dynamics but also help you avoid any office controversy.
Personalization is a critical component of the best gifts. Giving every one of your peers the exact same thing is equal but uninteresting. Instead, consider gifts with personalized names, messages, or themes. You may need to do some extra investigation to find out everyone’s interests, but they’ll undoubtedly appreciate the effort.
Buying Something Too Intimate
Perhaps the most concerning corporate gifting mistake to avoid in the workplace is buying something too personal. Buying clothing or gifts for someone’s family is incredibly difficult, and it can create an awkward situation for the gift recipient. It’s always best not to assume things about someone’s life outside of work and keep the gifts professional.
If you’re unsure if a gift is appropriate, think about how you would feel to receive it publicly, or ask a friend. Chances are that if you have to question it, it’s best not to get the gift.
Spending Over the Budget
It’s important not to spend over your given budget when exchanging gifts. Spending more may seem generous, but it puts everyone who spent within budget in an awkward position. If you give an expensive gift to someone for their birthday, they may feel uncomfortable or obligated to return a favor they can’t afford later on. Even giving gifts without a budget should happen with a realistic spending limit in mind.
Gifts to Clientele
If you oversee the gifts your company gives clientele, you have a ton of weight on your shoulders. These gifts can secure a partnership, finalize a sale, or retain a valuable client. With so much riding on a client’s gift-receiving experience, getting your gift choice right is vital.
Missing (or Misusing) Branding Opportunities
Many companies use gift-giving to cement their brands in their clients’ minds, often branding items such as pens, mugs, and notebooks. This marketing opportunity is not just a smart move—clients also expect it and, if you do it correctly, even appreciate the branded gifts.
There are some ways to misuse branding opportunities that you should keep in mind. Only sending branded objects is impersonal. Instead, pepper branded items in with gifts such as treats. You should also invest in the branded gifts you send, as cheap materials suggest your company doesn’t care about quality.
Choosing Comedic Gifts
Comedic gifts are always tricky. Everyone has a different sense of humor, so no matter how well you know a client, avoiding comedic gifts entirely is best practice. If you’re close friends with the client and fully trust they’ll enjoy the joke, consider delivering the gift in person and sticking around to see them open it. This choice can help you avoid any misunderstandings and keep the air light.
Ignoring Personal Customs
You must always consider personal, religious, and regional customs when choosing a gift for clients. For example, sending meat-based snacks to a vegan client can start off your relationship on the wrong foot. Research the company and ask questions to see if you need to know anything specific about your client. Not all mistakes in this area are avoidable, but trying is always worth the effort.
In 2022, many companies have transitioned into hybrid or even fully remote workplaces. One downside of working from home is that leaving gifts on a desk as a surprise is a thing of the past. These remote gifting tips can help you cultivate a positive company culture while dodging common logistical problems:
Writing the Wrong Address
Writing the wrong address happens, especially when you’re sending out gifts to an entire team or department. It’s an innocent mistake, but mislabeling a package can cause some exhausting logistical problems. Sometimes the post office will return a card or package in time, so you have an opportunity to correct the issue. More often than not, however, the gift is just gone.
Always double- or triple-check addresses before mailing out the gifts. If you have the opportunity, you can confirm the address with the recipient to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Going Cheap on Packaging
Packaging makes a deep impression on a gift recipient, and you should never neglect it. After all, what surrounds a gift tells the recipient how to feel about it! That said, creating an extraordinary experience isn’t the only reason to never go cheap on your gifts’ packaging. If your packaging is too flimsy for the gift inside, you risk damaging the gift itself. If you’re mailing out a box of gifts, always use shipping tape to prevent the package from opening during transport. You also want to avoid storing cards or documents in envelopes without some kind of support, as they can easily fold and bend when stuffed into a mailbox.
Giving More to In-Office Employees
Creating a perfectly fair experience between employees working remotely and in the office is undoubtedly a challenge. As you buy gifts, try to make sure the gifts for workers in the office don’t exceed the value or quality of the gifts going through the mail. Coworkers are likely to post about their gifts on social media, so any inequity will quickly come to light.
At Crystal Central, we proudly offer gifting solutions that will take some of the gift-giving pressure off your shoulders. Choosing to give a crystal award shows your coworkers, clients, and remote workers just how much you appreciate their individual contributions. Whether you’re shopping with work anniversaries in mind or looking for stylish boss appreciation gifts, we have the customization options you need to send the perfect message.