The Etiquette of Corporate Gift Giving

The feeling of receiving a gift of appreciation for a piece of work that has been slaved over or a business partnership that is truly valued is rather uplifting, but when it comes to corporate gift giving, there are certain etiquette guidelines which should be followed to ensure that the gift is well received; because, let’s be honest here, there’s nothing worse in the work place than the awkwardness of an inappropriate gift from a colleague or business partner!

For those of you asking yourself, “But I can’t think of any gift that could be considered inappropriate”, Stop! You might be about to ruin a perfectly good working relationship by insulting, upsetting or creeping out one of your favourite clients. Here is a little bit of advice on the etiquette of corporate gift giving from the corporate gifting experts here at M&S Corporate Gifts.

Is it a Gift You Would Give to Your Grandmother?

Now, we don’t mean that you’re going to be giving you clients/employees a new set of stainless steel knitting needles or a pair of floral patterned curtains, but you need to consider whether or not the gift you are giving is something which would be appropriate to give your grandmother! Of course, this may not apply to every situation. If you have a close and more personal relationship with the person you are gifting, you might give them a ‘gag’ gift to make them laugh; just don’t take it too far and be 100% sure that the joke will be well received.

The Price is Right

It seems that nobody wants to talk about money these days. Cost has become a taboo subject, but when it comes to corporate gifting, you need to make sure that the price is right! There are two extremes that you want to avoid when it comes to your corporate gifting budget.

– Firstly, you don’t want to spend too little on your gifts for fear of looking cheap. A cheap gift can be worse than no gift at all, so don’t try to penny pinch.

– Spending too much on a gift can make the recipient feel awkward. It may also set their expectations too high in the future, so find some middle ground with the price of your gift and get something which is of good value but not overtly flashy.

Are You Being Fair?

No one likes a teacher’s pet, so if you’re singling out a specific employee and gifting them for doing something your other employees have done without recognition, you might cause a divide within your team. You need to set specific criteria for rewarding employees to ensure absolute fairness across your entire company.

You also need to ensure your gifts are consistent in cost. If one employee receives a bottle of wine for making a big sale and the other receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Maldives, you’re going to create a stir.

Don’t Go Rogue

When planning a corporate gifting strategy, it’s not wise to just go it alone and start firing out gifts left, right and centre. Firstly, you might want to contact the HR department of the person you are gifting as they might have corporate guidelines which restrict the giving and receiving of corporate gifts. Once you know what you’re allowed to do, you can start planning your gifting strategy on your own, but it’s definitely wise to sense check it with someone else before you go ahead and start sending gifts. Try talking to the members of your team who have the most

By following these corporate gifting etiquette guidelines, you’ll be less likely to find yourself in the embarrassing situation of having a gift returned to you or having all of your subsequent phone calls ignored! If you need some inspiration for what to buy your clients or employees, take a look at our gift card range and allow the recipient to choose from M&S’s diverse range of exquisite foods, quality clothing and exciting gifts for themselves!

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