105 CDP: 9 Tips for Holiday Gift-Giving at the Office

December 8, 2016


Office gift-giving…good idea or not?

Holiday gift-giving in the office or the workplace: what to do? What not to do? How to avoid a “faux-pas” and what is generally considered safe? These are some of the questions I offer answers to in this episode of the Communication Diva Podcast.

Join me as we talk about workplace policies and past practices, and what is expected and what might not be. This is especially a good thing to figure out ahead of time if you are a new employee in a workplace, so that you know where you stand and what is usually done in your place of employment.

It’s good to find out, because you don’t want to embarrass yourself by being the only one who does or doesn’t give a gift because you didn’t know, and you also don’t want to go over the top or conversely, appear ungenerous.

You also don’t need to feel obligated.

Ever. You can simply write a card to each person you work with…offer a sincere expression of thanks or appreciation. That might be all that is needed.

You also don’t have to justify yourself if you prefer not to participate. If you want to, you can simply say it’s not in your budget this year….or you are unable to participate this time.  And don’t feel badly about it. Office gift-giving is not meant to be an exercise that makes people feel bad!

In this episode we’ll cover 9 tips in more detail than they are listed here, but here are the tips in short form:

    1. limit the gift amount.
    2. See if drawing names is an option.
    3. Pool what you all would have spent on gifts for each other and make a donation to the food bank or the local shelter or another charitable cause.
    4. When you do give gifts, make sure you keep them non-personal.
    5. Be aware of what message you are sending with the gift.
    6. Stay away from funny.
    7. Be careful about gift giving to a boss or supervisor.
    8. If you are given a gift and didn’t have one to give that person in return, don’t feel that you have to return the favour.

When in doubt, give food!

Office gift-giving doesn’t have to be daunting. It can be a fun and lovely way to appreciate the people you spend a lot of your life with…and can be a way to bring people a little closer together in the workplace.

If you’ve got a student or a new employee in your life, consider giving them a copy of my book, What They See: How to Stand Out and Shine in Your New Job. It can be ordered on Amazon and is full of practical and actionable advice on how to navigate the first three months of a new job.

Until next time…happy gift giving!



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