Corporate gifts aren’t just about giving something away; they are about building relationships and creating a positive company culture. Corporate gifting is a way to say “Thank you,” “Job well done,” “I appreciate you,” or “You are part of this team.” When done well, corporate gifting is a way to make employees, clients, or referral partners feel valued and appreciated.
But, when done poorly, it can have the exact opposite effect. It can say, “I didn’t bother to plan for your birthday gift in advance, so I bought something that would arrive in 2 days that I hope you like, but honestly, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, so there’s a good chance you won’t use it. Eeeek.
To help you make sure your corporate gifts are saying what you intend to, here are a few simple dos and don’ts for corporate gifting:
- Do personalize the gifts when possible
For holidays such as birthdays and anniversaries, if there’s a chance to get a gift unique to the recipient, that’s best. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever get the same gift for multiple people. It just means you should spend some time thinking about if that person will enjoy the gift you have in mind.
- Do consider the recipient’s interests and preferences
If you know the recipient is into theater, you may consider tickets to a show. If they enjoy traveling, how about some travel-friendly accessories? Your client or employee is more likely to appreciate the gift and your sentiment behind it if you consider their interests when making the purchase.
- Do ensure the gifts are in line with your company’s core values
A health-minded company might consider wellness gift boxes, like ours. A company with a value of integrity might opt for purchasing gifts from corporate gift suppliers who ensure fair trade wages are paid. Whatever your core values, be sure your corporate gifts line up with them.
- Do set a budget for your gifts
This can be helpful to help set standards for employee birthdays, referral gifts, and client gifts. That way you have a fair system for gifts across the board, and one manager’s team doesn’t get flashy gifts while another’s more modest.
- Don’t give gifts that are too personal or inappropriate
Stay away from anything politically oriented, intimate, or anything that includes questionable humor. Even if you know your gift recipient well enough to know that they will enjoy that particular gift, in a work environment, it’s best to avoid these gifts, as sometimes the recipient may read something into the gift that you didn’t intend.
- Don’t give gifts that are too cheap or generic
This is a dead giveaway that you didn’t put much thought into your gift. Even if your budget is small, you can find a thoughtful gift. As an example, bringing them coffee from their favorite coffee shop is thoughtful and affordable.
- Don’t give gifts that are too expensive or extravagant
The gift should be in line with the norms for your industry. If your vendor buys you an awkwardly large gift, you may wonder to yourself if they are charging you a fair amount. If you aren’t sure what the standard is in your industry, we recommend asking your colleagues for their thoughts.
- Don’t forget to include a handwritten note with your gift
From a practical purpose, notes allow you to communicate who purchased the gift and why. They also give you a chance to tell the person what you appreciate about their friendship, business, or work performance.
We hope these dos and don’ts help you build relationships with your clients through well executed corporate gifting.
Have you ever received a corporate gift that caused some awkwardness? Tell us about it in the comments below!