Here are a few best practices for the perfect holiday office gifting.

The holiday season is a time of celebration, and the gift-giving frenzy often extends to the workplace. Holiday gifts at the office can be fraught with concerns: Should you buy a gift for your boss? What about the coworker you can’t stand? Should you participate in group gifts, Secret Santas and ornament exchanges? The first thing to consider is whether there is an established company policy on gift-giving. If so, stick to the rules. For offices where gift-giving is allowed or encouraged, give careful consideration to the cost, the recipient and the gift itself. Offensive, inappropriate or suggestive gifts are never acceptable at the workplace. Here are several categories of workplace gift-giving, as well as some of the practices and pitfalls for each:

Co-workers – Many companies hold Secret Santa, white elephant, cookie exchanges or any number of gift-giving opportunities during the holiday season. While participation should not be mandatory, it is a good idea to take part in the office camaraderie. Stay within the rules of the exchange and use the opportunity to build rapport with coworkers.
Boss – Today’s business etiquette discourages buying a personal gift for your boss in most situations.  The exception is a group gift that allows everyone to participate. The group gift should be selected and purchased after the money is collected to avoid anyone having to pay more than their portion. Regardless of who did or did not contribute, the card should include everyone in the department.
Team Members –  If you manage a small team, the holidays provide an opportunity to acknowledge the people who support you year-round. If you decide to buy a gift for the people who work directly under you, it should be a neutral token gesture such as a gift card, food item or movie passes.
Clients – Many companies purchase items in bulk for client gifts, others may have guidelines restricting the amount spent per client. Be sure that your gift is appropriate for the client, both cost and content. Be aware of any ethical or regulatory guidelines that may restrict gifts between you and your client. Remember that the present is not just from you, but is also a reflection of your entire organization.
Close Friends – If you are lucky enough to have co-workers or clients that are close friends, keep your personal gift-giving outside of the workplace.
Charity Donations – The trend to give back has gathered steam, and many workplaces hold holiday donation drives, adopt families in need or contribute to a local charity. Participation in these activities is uplifting and real to the spirit of the season, but can quickly rack up expenses. If you decide to participate, set a limit and stick to it. 

What about that dreaded awkward moment when you receive a gift from a co-worker or client and have nothing to give in exchange? Just smile, say thank you, then send a thank-you note acknowledging the present
and expressing your gratitude. 

All of us at The Daniel Group wish you a happy and prosperous Holiday Season. We qualify the best and brightest candidates that will fit into your organization’s culture, and we stand behind our work with a One-Year Replacement Guarantee.

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