Holiday gifts

The holiday season is a time for giving, and many organizations choose to give gifts to their employees and other stakeholders. Corporate gift giving can be a great way to share your appreciation, strengthen relationships, and boost morale. However, it’s important to be mindful of corporate gift-giving etiquette.

Many organizations have corporate gift giving guidelines to help streamline their giving practices. Do you? If not, here are some tips for corporate gift-giving etiquette that should serve as some guidelines to keep everyone on the same page.

5 Tips for Gift Giving Etiquette Small wrapped gift


The first step in corporate gift giving is to set a budget. This will help you to narrow down your options and choose gifts that are both meaningful and affordable. When setting a budget, be sure to consider the size of your organization, the number of people you’re gifting to, and the type of gifts you want to give. From an etiquette standpoint, it’s important to be fair and equitable in your gift giving planning and execution.

Internal/External Gifts

When choosing gifts, it’s important to consider whether they’re for internal or external stakeholders. Internal gifts are typically given to employees, while external gifts are given to clients, customers, and partners. When choosing internal gifts, you want to select items that are appropriate for the workplace and that will be appreciated by a wide range of people. External gifts are usually great opportunities for branding or relationship-building. It’s important to understand your industry standards, though, as some businesses aren’t allowed to accept gifts.

Aligning with Corporate Culture

It’s important to choose gifts that align with your corporate culture. For example, if your company is known for its commitment to sustainability, you might want to choose gifts that are eco-friendly. If your company has a casual atmosphere, you might want to choose gifts that are fun and lighthearted. Gifts that are outside of what’s “comfortable” for your staff should be avoided, and if it’s questionable, keep brainstorming!


It’s important to consider how gifts will be ultimately used. There are a lot of whimsical chotchkes out there, but where do they ultimately end up? On a shelf or in the trash. You want to choose gifts that are practical and useful, and that recipients will actually enjoy. For example, try a nice coffee mug with a bag of favorite coffee for your highly caffeinated controller; a gift certificate for groceries is perfect for just about anyone. Avoid choosing gifts that are too niche or that recipients may not want to take up space.

WOW Factor

While you don’t want to spend too much money on corporate gifts, you do want to choose gifts that will make a good impression. The goal is to choose gifts that are thoughtful and that will show recipients that you appreciate them. It’s never a bad idea to ask around to gather ideas about what people really need or want … and don’t be afraid to ask what would really evoke a WOW response!

Tips for Leaders on Gift Giving

If you’re a leader in your organization, here are a few additional tips for corporate gift giving etiquette:

  • Be consistent. If you’re giving gifts to some employees, be sure to give gifts to all employees. This will help to avoid any feelings of favoritism.
  • Be thoughtful. Consider the income, cultures, backgrounds, industry, and common interests of your recipients. What would make their life just a little bit better?
  • Be appropriate. Gift giving is more fun if there’s some flexibility and creativity involved, but you must consider the audience. Some workplace cultures are more serious than others, so be sure to know boundaries for what will or may not be well-received.
  • Write a personal note. If possible, personalize each gift with a handwritten note. gThankYou is a sucker for handwritten notes — and we think your employees (and external stakeholders) will be extremely grateful for the time and energy.
  • Be respectful of company policies. Some companies have policies in place regarding corporate gift giving. Be sure to check with your HR department to make sure that your gifts are in compliance with company policy.

Need gift ideas? Check out Your Guide to Making Employee Gifts Count, a free eBook from us to you!


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Glitter Box Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Small Wrapped Gift Photo by Tijana Drndarski on Unsplash

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