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Gift Giving Etiquette for Boss

Rujuta Borkar Jun 18, 2019
Gifting your boss something that gives the wrong impression or does not go down well with him/her is never good. To avoid this, it is important to know the etiquette of giving your boss a gift. Which is exactly what we will be discussing in the following piece.
Boss' birthday coming up, and you want to gift him/her something? Great idea. You should learn a little something about the etiquette of gifting, 'cause you see, your sentiments in gifting your boss something unique might be noble, but the wrong kind of gift can give the wrong impression and affect your relations.
Many organizations do not even follow the practice of giving gifts at holidays or parties. It is not a compulsion to gift something to your boss. Moreover, you are not really obligated to 'return' a gift if your boss gifts you something. Here are some gift giving etiquette guidelines to follow.

Etiquette to Follow

Go With the Flow

You might have great ideas for gifts, but curb your enthusiasm and step back a little. First take stock of the situation at work and gauge what your co-workers are doing. If none of them are willing to give your boss something, then it would probably be best for you not to either.
Giving a gift when no one else is will make it seem like you are trying to get on the good side of the boss, which will probably not go well with your co-workers. But in spite of all this, if you do want to, then do it without attracting any attention. Quietly keep the gift on the boss' desk early in the day or late in the evening.

Points to Remember

Here are some other pointers that you should keep in mind when you're gifting your boss something.
  • Always gift something that is simple and inexpensive. Expensive gifts are not considered OK.
  • Keep in mind that the gift is not personal, because that would give the impression that you are trying to cross boundaries. Remember, it is a professional scenario and not a personal one.
  • Do not give something that is personal either. That includes lingerie or jewelry. These things are best bought by oneself.
  • So also flowers. Stay away from flowers. (Those which have a romantic connotation to them, at least.)
  • Never give something that has a politically inclined message, or a racial one. Even if you mean it in jest. It might not go down well with the boss.
  • Never ever give cash. Your boss earns more than you, so giving a gift of this nature is highly inappropriate.
If your boss gifts the employees something, then it is not compulsory that you need to return the favor. A simple 'thank you' card will also work.

Boss Day Gift Ideas

Fancy Pen

A boss needs a pen. Period. Why don't all of you pool in and buy him a great pen? It's safe to say that he'll use it, and what's more, it's really practical as well.

Electric Desk-Clock

There are several inexpensive and yet really great collections of the latest in electric desk clocks. Choose a smart desk clock. Again, a very practical gift idea.

Business Card Case

With the amount of networking your boss does, and the amount of clients and contacts he has, there are bound to be that many business cards, plus more.
Where is he/she going to store them? Easy! Gift your boss a business card case and right there is the perfect solution to an uncluttered desk and great organization. Plus, easy access! And even if your boss already has one, the contacts will simply increase with time, so the second (third and fourth) card case will also be welcome.

Other Desk Items

There are several other desk items that you can give him as well―paperweights, calendars, planners and organizers, and pen/pencil stand. There is always that assurance that the boss will make good use of these.
All these go extremely well as gift ideas for female bosses as well. These were some of the 'politically correct' ideas for gifts. But if your organization is small and you have a close bond with your boss, you can experiment a little.
Like, giving your boss a box of homemade cookies is not going to get you fired! Neither is giving a gift basket. But all in all, to be on the safe side, it is better that you follow the pointers of the gifting etiquette for a boss.
So keep these etiquette pointers in mind the next time you want to gift your boss something. Don't say it through the gift, let your work do the talking instead.