The holiday season is the time for hanging out with friends, the obligatory in-law visit . . . and gifts.
Receiving gifts is all good and well, but giving gifts can add that extra layer of dread and guilt to any party.
Choosing a gift for your boss is no exception. Four out of ten companies usually give gifts its employees and, no matter the quality, there's hardly room to complain. I mean, you can always quit, right?
However, before jumping to get something for your boss in return, here are some extremely useful tips for buying gifts for your boss.
1. Is A Gift Even Necessary?
First thing's first! Would getting your boss a gift this season even be appropriate. Take a second and try to think of some things that your boss does in his free time. If you can't name at least two, you probably aren't close enough to give them a gift.
If your boss gives a gift to every person in your department, chances are he didn't single you are. Seventy percent of gifts given at corporations even contain company logos! Feel special yet?
2. Opt For a Group Gift
Now let's say it is appropriate to get your boss a gift. If you have the opportunity to give a group gift, do that. That way, everyone pitches in a certain amount, and you can end up getting them a nicer gift than you would be able to on your own.
Gift cards or certificates are the best choice for group gifts. They show you have some knowledge of your boss' interests and are much more formal than cash.
Speaking of . . .
3. No Cash Gifts EVER!
Even if everyone gives cash for a group gift, put that money on a Visa gift card. Shoving a wad of money into an envelope can seem last-minute and lazy.
Cash envelopes are for drug dealers and loan sharks.
Just don't do it.
4. Functional Over Fancy
When choosing gifts for your boss, subtle and dignified goes a long way. You may think that paperweight you saw at the store would look super sophisticated on his desk, but most people would rather have something useful like a nice watch.
Pick something that is easy to use, and that most people actually do use. Nothing is worse than someone trying to figure out what to do with the gift you got them.
5. Check The Price Tag
Most offices have well-established rules on gift prices. A common maximum is $25 or even $50 in higher departments.
You might think that going over this limit will gain you some quick brownie points, but you'd be wrong. Getting your boss an expensive gift will often make them feel uncomfortable or even guilty. Your boss will much sooner appreciate a pair of inexpensive cufflinks that match his personality to an expensive, name brand pair.
The point of giving a gift is not to shine a light on the giver, but to make the receiver feel valued and appreciated.
That being said . . .
6. Don't Be Cheap
Gifts send a message. And, when it comes to gifts for your boss, that message is very important. Something overpriced will make them feel uncomfortable or guilty, but a cheap gift can be insulting.
Don't settle for a drugstorkeychainin. Even if the knick-knack is ironic or part of an inside joke, always include a nicer item to make up the value.
7. Don't Expect Anything in Return
The best gifts for your boss are given without any pretense or expectation. If you feel the urge to get a gift, you should do it solely to show them that you value the work they do. Showing that you expect a gift in return is another quick way to make your boss feel uncomfortable, and it can quickly damage your relationship.
8. Don't Show Off
Whatever you do, don't show the entire office what you got for your boss.
If coworkers DO care, it's usually just so they can then to get something better.
If you have a personal relationship outside of work, any gifts exchanges should also be done outside of work. Once people get even a whiff of that promotion you got, they'll attribute it to favoritism whether you deserve it or not.
9. Do Your Research
When thinking of tangible gifts for your boss, make sure you pick a gift that is in the general scope of your their interests. Ask their personal assistant or even the office receptionist what their interests are. Most assistants handle personal appointments as well as office schedules.
They're bound to have a few tips for you.
10. The Thank-You Note
Sometimes, upon receiving a gift, the most professional thing to do is send a simple thank-you note. Don't give them the "I left yours at home" line and buy them one that night. It'll seem rushed and make them feel guilty.
If your boss gives you a gift out of the blue, don't feel anxious. As your superior, they're simply showing their appreciation. A thank-you note will show maturity and good follow-through.
And if their gift has the company logo on it, you're definitely off the hook.
Amazing Gifts For Your Boss
Now that you have the know-how, it's time to put the pedal to the metal.
If you're thinking about doing something nice for your boss, tell your coworkers at the water cooler. See if anyone is willing to pitch in.
If not, remember, do your research and get them something functional and inexpensive that plays to their interests. Put some thought into it.
That being said, sometimes words can be a lot more powerful than gifts. Having everyone in the office sign a card, or even going to your boss' office to just tell them directly how much you appreciate them can mean the world.
No matter what decision you make, try to have fun. Gifts and trinkets are lost over time, but good memories can last a lifetime.
Now that you've had time to brainstorm, be sure to check our awesome options for gifts for your boss!