Are holiday gifts in the workplace an untapped retail opportunity?
According to CareerBuilder’s Annual Holiday Survey, 22 percent of workers plan to buy holiday gifts for their co-workers and 22 percent plan to buy a gift for their boss.
The results were similar to last year’s findings. Of the workers who plan on spending on their co-workers or bosses this holiday season, 34 percent are planning to spend $10 or less on each gift, 59 percent will spend $11 to $50, and six percent will spend $51 and above.
From the other side, 55 percent of employers surveyed are buying gifts for workers this year — up from 46 percent last year and 33 percent in 2008. CareerBuilder credited the increase to the strong economy and solid corporate profits.
The internet is full of advice for giving gifts to co-workers and supervisors, but the practice seems to come with more challenges than buying holiday gifts for friends and family.
Gifts to avoid include alcohol, flowers or perfume that may carry inappropriate innuendo. And an awkward personal gift can hurt the recipient’s feelings in a work setting or even harm the giver’s career.
“We live in friendlier office times where people are more involved in each other’s personal lives,” Lizzie Post, co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette 19th edition, told Forbes. “We always suggest personal in nature, but appropriate for the office.”
Keeping in line with the expected price range was also a common piece of advice. Monster Career Expert Vicki Salemi told CNBC, “Don’t be extravagant by giving someone a trendy gadget that would be $200 and make the recipient feel uncomfortable.”
In some situations, workers should buy a smaller gift, such as such as a box of chocolates, for everybody in the office to avoid anyone feeling left out.
For bosses, the general advice was to team up on a gift. Karen Thomas, Connecticut-based, etiquette coach, told Moneyish, “Collectively you can all chip in and get something for your boss, but to buy something individually would look like brownnosing.”
- Number of Employers Planning to Spread Cheer in the Office Hits a Ten-Year High, Finds CareerBuilder’s Annual Holiday Survey – CareerBuilder
- Gifts At Work? An Expert Weighs In (Plus 7 Things Your Co-Workers Actually Want) – Forbes
- The do’s and don’ts of giving holiday gifts to your co-workers – Tech Republic
- 5 do’s and don’ts of office gift giving – CNBC
- Holiday gifts to give your coworkers this year – Moneyish
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: In what ways could retailers be more helpful to employees and employers giving holiday gifts? What are the largest pain points in the office gift exchange process?