Monday, December 17, 2007

Personalization Do's and Don'ts in The Corporate World

Personalized gifts are very meaningful for both the gift giver and the recipient. However, there are some guidelines we suggest you follow to make sure you don’t get “too” personal – especially in a corporate setting. Check out our list of do’s and don’ts below for stress free gift giving regardless of the season.

Do thoroughly think through gifts for people of the opposite sex to make sure they are not misinterpreted as being in any way intimate.

Do make sure you check for mistakes (i.e. spelling of names) both when placing the order and when they arrive. Nothing says “I appreciate you” like a misspelled name, so make sure you get it right the first time.

Don’t feel obligated to reciprocate a gift. Make sure you acknowledge the gift and thank the giver for being so thoughtful.

Do make sure to pay attention to International etiquette. If your gift is being sent overseas, make sure you familiarize yourself with the recipient’s customs. You would be surprised at how easy it is to give a gift with the best of intentions that accidentally offends the recipient or gives the wrong message. Also, consider ordering their gift locally so the recipient won’t have to pay a tax or duty on the item sent.

Don’t send the same personalized gift. If you have a list of regular clients, try to send something different each year to keep it interesting. Also, don’t forget your client’s assistants!

Don’t forget dietary restrictions! If your gift is intended for a specific person, make sure to be aware of their religious, ethical and medical restrictions in their diets.

Do give equally. If you are giving to all of your employees, the value of their customized gifts should be within a few dollars of each other.

Don’t forget anyone. Make a list to be sure you’ve remembered everyone from the cleaning staff, regular contractors and part-timers.

Do be consistent. If you personalize a gift for one employee, you should do it for all of them.

Do use discretion, especially if you are not giving to everyone. To avoid awkward feelings by other employees, you may want to send the gift directly to the employees home.

Don’t be afraid to try something different for the holidays! If you are at a loss as to what to give your employees, and are tired of throwing the same boring party year after year, why not use the funds allocated to the party to give your employees some extra hours off? Or, you can give your employees the option of donating an afternoon to a good cause in place of a party. It’s a “pay it forward” approach that shows your employees your softer side and helps others in the process. Chance are, your employees would love having a little extra time to spend with their family or the ability to get a few last minute errands done.