Corporate Gift Giving
Gift giving is a very good way to maintain and build upon good working relations whether that’s with a valuable client or with an employee. It is however, also fraught with difficulties and surrounded by etiquette so it is important that the well meaning gesture behind your gift will be perceived in the way you mean it to be otherwise it can all backfire on you.
When it’s AppropriateAlthough the Christmas holiday season is the most obvious time to hand out corporate gifts they can also be given to motivate or encourage an employee, especially those who face difficult, unpleasant or mundane tasks that might still be vital to a company’s success. They can often be given to an employee who’s been ill as a source of motivation. Then there are those occasions when gifts are given to show appreciation for the efforts and good work an employee has demonstrated or you can give them to a new client as a ‘welcome on board’.
Things to Consider
Check the Company Policy
Firstly, some organisations have strict policies on the acceptance of corporate gifts so do ensure that you have checked this out before giving a gift as it may not be too kindly looked upon. Make sure that the gift is not so extravagant that it might be perceived as a form of bribery. If that was to happen, it could destroy the business relationship you have worked so hard to nurture. Also, get to know a little about the person you intend giving the gift to in terms of any hobbies or interests they might have and where possible, give a gift that’s a reflection of their interests, tastes or something that they’ll find useful in their job.
Christmas is one of the safest times to give something to somebody to show appreciation. If you’re forever handing out gifts throughout the year, not only will they start to mean less to the recipient, it might also give off the impression that you must be ‘after something’.
Customisation is also something to be careful of. As mentioned, it’s perfectly acceptable to give small gifts such as mugs, key rings etc to people which contain your company’s logo on them but you should never gift anybody something with your logo on, if you want it to be something that the recipient feels has come personally from you.
No matter what the value of the gift is, make sure it’s packaged nicely to show you have put some thought into it and you should also include a handwritten note to show your appreciation.
You may have some ideas of your own but remember to be wary about giving anything that seems too expensive or luxurious in case it’s perceived in the wrong way. Typical gifts might include desk accessories, pens, letter openers, calculators, personalised golf balls, a case of wine, travel accessories, food hampers and a particular favourite is always tickets to music concerts, the theatre or sporting events.
There should always be the gift element that should be at the forefront of any motivation you have. There’s quite a fine line to be drawn between what might be considered an opportune occasion to give a gift and what might be considered an incentive and, in worse case scenarios, a bribe so think long and hard about the type of gift you intend to give and how it might be construed by the recipient.
However, done correctly, gift giving is a nice touch to show your appreciation for the hard efforts of your staff or as part of a good relations strategy between you and your clients.