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Holiday Gift Giving: 5 tips for Good Office Protocol

The Holiday Season is full of traditions. In far too many offices, gift conundrums and confusion seems to be among them. Navigating the holiday season, including gifts at the office, doesn’t need to add stress to your holiday. Here are 5 tips to keep gift-giving enjoyable for all involved.

  1. Check with your company. Many organizations have a policy. Everyone will feel more comfortable with guidelines, consider inquiring with your supervisor and suggesting a modest policy so that gifts do not become compulsory.

  2. Plan ahead. Santa Claus shouldn’t be the only one making a list! Spend some time thinking about your year. Are there any colleagues that were key to your success that you would like to thank? Do not feel pressured into giving something exorbitant just to be impressive, instead consider the nature of the relationship and how you can thank them appropriately. For most coworkers, a small gift is wonderful. If a colleague was instrumental in a large project, perhaps you want to give a more significant gift.

  3. Add a personal touch. Take time to write a personal note expressing your appreciation. Cite specific attributes and actions they exhibit. Likewise, when you receive a gift, take time to write a brief and sincere thank you note.

  4. Don’t give gifts publicly. The point of a gift is not to make you look good, but the other person feel appreciated. Use discretion with your timing so the recipient feels comfortable.

  5. Have a generous view of reciprocity. Holiday gift giving should never become an arms race. If you decide to give a coworker a gift, make it clear that it’s a token of your appreciation and nothing is expected in return.

At its heart, the holidays are about connection and giving. Take time to remember that any office activities should reflect those values and not be a source of stress.