The Rule Book on Gifts for Your Boss

Although most business etiquette states that gifts for your boss aren’t necessary, it can be a nice gesture for special occasions. However, there are some things you have to remember when it comes to gifting options. Whether you work for a private company, government, or an informal business partnership, below are some guidelines to help you consider what is the appropriate gift for your superiors. 

What are things to remember when buying gifts for your boss?

Follow company guidelines.

The first thing you have to remember is to follow company guidelines in gift-giving. This applies both to your superiors and colleagues. Often, there are certain prices set in company manuals about the kinds of gifts you are allowed to give to your boss. It can be as low as $50, but some allow gifting of luxurious items such as Tudor watches

This is your first step to set a price point with your gift before anything else, so as to make sure that you are not breaking any ethical or moral code within your company. 

Consider a group gift.

The main problem of giving a gift to your boss is the impression that you are trying to gain favor. However, when your motives are sincere, it may be best to give a group gift to the company, such as packaged artisan goods or gift bags addressed to your boss’ family. 

This can be a great alternative to avoid issues among your colleagues. Sometimes, you just want to express your gratitude through a simple item on a special occasion–and that’s not bad–as long as you stick with the guidelines or maybe presenting a gift that your boss’ whole family can enjoy. 

Do not showcase it for everyone to see.

When you present a gift to your boss, do not give it at times where the spotlight is towards you. It can cause problems and rumors, and may even blur the lines of ethical gift-giving. 

If you really have sincere intentions about giving a present to your superiors, it is best to give them discreetly. You can show up at their desk and give the gift after a short talk, or you can present the item before leaving an event. This way, the spotlight won’t be focused too much on the act of gift-giving itself, but the thoughtfulness and gratitude that shines through you. 

Your job is not to impress.

Impressing your boss with something completely out of your budget can be questionable when it comes to business etiquette. Not only does this come across as “humble-bragging”, but it can also send signals to your colleagues about a smug attitude. 

Again, having the right intentions must be emphasized. When thinking about something to give to your boss, do not have the mindset that he or she has to be totally floored–all you have to do is bring good vibes and send a thoughtful gesture along the way. This is completely subjective, but it would help to place yourself in your boss’ shoes if you were to receive the gift. 

Cash is a no-no.

This may be silly, but did you know that there are actual instances where employees give cash gifts to their boss? Ironic as it may sound, some employees think that cash is something pleasing to the one presenting them their paychecks. 

As a matter of fact, many bosses feel degraded when they receive cash as a gift. Not only is it demeaning, but it also shows a lack of thoughtfulness and effort in the part of the giver. It’s better to give nothing at all than to give cash to a superior. A better idea would be to give gift certificates which are equivalent to cash. 

Don’t give verbal promises as gifts.

Sure, it may seem unique, but giving verbal promises as a gift spells miscommunication. Your boss may interpret what you said as one way, and you could have meant a completely opposite idea. This is something you have to avoid if you want less conflict in the workplace. 

Instead of verbal commitments, it may be better to hand out a “thank you” card with a thoughtful gift. 

Remember these tips, and you’ll be a gift-giving pro not just towards your boss, but also towards your colleagues in the workplace.