Whether it’s your boss or the custodian, finding great Christmas gifts for coworkers can be a tough task. But follow a few basic shopping tips and you can help everyone have a happy—and stress-free—holiday season at the office.
The holidays offer a chance to take your mind off work, but before you do, don’t forget to spread some holiday cheer by buying Christmas gifts for coworkers around the office. You likely already have a few holiday gift ideas for coworkers you interact with daily, but ask yourself: “Are there other people at the office who deserve a thank-you gift for the holidays?” Your own daily support staff may include office administrative assistants, mailroom staff, security guards and cleaning staff.
The first step in finding good holiday gift ideas for coworkers is to ask yourself about the people on your gift list: Do we have a personal relationship or a purely professional one?
Tailor Your Gift by How Well You Know This Person
If it’s strictly a business relationship, stick to more office-oriented Christmas gifts for coworkers (like a picture frame, coffee mug, or higher-end pens). Focus on a message of thanks for their professional guidance: A handwritten card reminding them of specific instances they have helped with during the past year, accompanied by a gourmet food or a book that has some personal meaning for them, is appropriate.
If your relationship is more personal, let your shared experiences shape your gift ideas. Coworkers who view you as a friend will be confused if your gifts seem strangely impersonal. Just be sure to keep a personal gift work-safe (such as kitchen implements to make a favorite shared lunch dish at home, or concert tickets for a band you both like). Simple rule of thumb: If there’s a chance the gift could make someone uncomfortable—say, perfume or clothing—select something else.
Another important factor in choosing the right holiday gifts for coworkers is to consider their reporting relationship to you: Are they your boss, peer or a direct report? The handwritten message you enclose with your gift can be a big help.
Shopping for your boss requires a careful approach: You don’t want to appear to be trying to advance yourself with your managers, and they likely don’t want it to seem that employees are obligated to buy them presents. A handwritten message thanking your boss for guidance throughout the year is appropriate for any gift.
Similarly, you need to be considerate of the feelings of employees who report to you: You want any gifts you give to make them feel appreciated, but you don’t want them to feel obligated to return the favor. Accompany your gift with a card that thanks them for a specific extra effort they made during the year (especially if it helped you personally) as a way to make the gift feel appropriate and personal.
With these guidelines in mind both for your bosses and direct reports, here are a few popular Christmas gift ideas for coworkers to consider:
If in doubt when shopping for holiday gifts for coworkers, pick up an American Express® Gift Card: the present that’s so flexible it’s virtually always appreciated.
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