The difficulties associated with finding a good corporate gift aren't new, it's important to set yourself apart. Some general rules...
Gifts in the workplace follow many of the rules of personal gift-giving. The best type of gift you can give someone is one which is personalized and thoughtful. Industry experts agree that today's gifts are all about personalization. Personalization can apply to gifts given to top-level executives, mid-level managers, and regular employees.
Have the recipient in mind when you pick out a gift. How much do you know about this person? Try to avoid generic gift-giving where everyone receives the same thing. This means a move away from bulk items such as branded apparel and try to make things more special. It is the thought that counts.
Corporate gift-giving is most effective when a company is familiar with its recipient. Finding a personalized gift that means something is important. For the gift to convey a message, the company should consider the purpose of the gift. Is it a thank you gift for the company overall or do you want to give a gift to every employee. If the gift is for a large client, the gift-giver should consider something that could be of value to them, such as an office clock or desk item -- and again, it's better if it's personalized.
What is Appropriate? For some it all boils down to how much [the company] has budgeted to give, and whether or not the business is a really good client for them. In other words the cost of the gift has to fit the value of the relationship.
When is Appropriate? Anytime you'd like to recognize an individual achievement, special relationship or major event! Below are some suggestions based upon our experiences:
Work events such as:RetirementPromotionService Anniversary i.e. 10 Years, 25 Years, etc.Thank you!
Other work occasions:Boss's Day (October 16th)Company teamsWelcome new employeesSpecial promotionsQuarterly meetingsRecognition dinners/eventsAdministrative Professionals' Day, formerly Secretary's Day (April 21)Summer picnicsSupport staff weekTop clientsTop producersTraining awards
Personal Achievements:Graduation and academic degreesFarewell partiesHoliday giftsNew additions to the familyMoving into a new homeWeddings
Special Occasion:Celebration dinnersCommunity service recognitionSponsoring company or community golf tournamentContract signingsOutstanding customer service awardsManagement off-sites and retreatsNew branch office openingsNew Version/Product releasesOff-site eventsOffice relocationsProfit/Improvement ideasTeam-building activities
Remember that in the world of corporate gifts quality counts. Gift personalization isn't about cheesy gifts. Rather as things are moving faster and faster executives are looking to make a deeper, more personal connection. Along with an emphasis on quality gifts, Personalized and thoughtful are key.