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Gift Giving Guidelines

Etiquette tips for giving corporate gifts

Giving a gift on behalf of your organization can be a tremendous way to express appreciation to clients, suppliers or staff. But it's important to keep etiquette in mind when choosing individual corporate gifts, from the perspective of both the corporate giver and the receiver.

Whether you're responsible for corporate gift ideas or for a special reward, or looking for promotional items to market your brand, here are some general considerations that should come into play in your decisions.

Check the rules. If your organization has a policy on gift giving, review it to ensure it is up to date and make any recommendations on any desired changes. Make sure it reflects other policies, such as any green guidelines, or mandate to use local suppliers when possible.

Keep it professional. Before giving gifts of a personal nature, consider how the choice could reflect upon your organization. Also be cautious if the choice could embarrass the recipient in front of peers.

Know the policy. Before you decide to provide a business gift to a client or potential client, find out if their organization allows for gifts, and whether it has any restrictions on the value or nature of gifts.

Make it something extra. Employee gifts should never be funded as part of compensation. They should be budgeted for above and beyond the expected wages or payments to employees or clients for work well done.

Don't go overboard. Stay within the scope of your company's budget. There's no point in going overboard on one item if your choice of business gift will attract scrutiny come budget time.

Be sensitive to the recipient. When searching for gifts on a holiday theme, most commonly corporate Christmas gift ideas, be sensitive to the recipient's religious or cultural background. While most people accept the secular nature of holiday greetings, be aware if any certain individuals may take offence.

Build your relationship. Delivering a gift can be a great excuse for you or your team members to meet with the recipient informally, in person. However, make arrangements in advance to determine a convenient day or time.

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