Holiday gifts for employees and customers are back on the agenda and it is November so you need to act quickly. Strained finances and increased social sensitivities make gift giving even more difficult, yet more appreciated, than ever. This series of articles will walk you through the corporate gift minefield and provide the top tips to make 2023 your best ever year of gifts. What to Avoid
In case you do not get through the whole series, I want to start with things you should not do.
1. Selecting a gift of the right value is important. If you do not spend enough, you may offend the employee or client and appear cheap; damaging the relationship. Spending too much may breach rules about receiving gifts or be perceived as an attempt to influence the recipient’s behavior.
2. Beware of giving gifts of differing values. We are all just a few Googles away from revealing how much a gift costs. You do not want an employee or client to compare (negatively) their gift with that of their colleagues. Make sure gifts are all around the same value.
3. Whatever you give, make sure not to leave anyone out. This is easy when it comes to employees (or contractors!) but more difficult when you have multiple touchpoints within a client. If in doubt, add another person to the list or risk the relationship. That is why Santa checks his list twice.
4. Gifts may contain layers of unintended meaning. Be aware social and religious sensitivities during the holiday period and avoid gifts that are too holiday-themed or targeted at one gender or another. A gift card, especially one that can be applied to several brands, is an example of a gift that overcomes this issue.
5. If the mistake were not so common, it would be unnecessary to remind people that gifts of an adult or romantic nature are inappropriate choices even if the intention is humorous. You may be close to a particular employee or client but the gift may be misinterpreted by co-workers or family members who see the gift.
6. Finally, gifts should not include self-serving items like note pads or clothing with your logo or ‘special holiday discounts’ on your products. Gifts should benefit the employee or client and not overtly push your brand or sales. Although there are many landmines to avoid when giving employees and clients gifts, getting it right can deliver significant rewards. Our next article will suggest the do’s of gift giving.