Giving gifts at work can be a tricky procedure. Since each office has its own culture and customs, a new employee may find it difficult to determine what the norm is. You may wonder if you should give gifts during the holiday season, or if baby and bridal showers encouraged or frowned upon. There are several criteria to take into consideration regarding gift giving at work, including both formal company policies and informal practices.
First of all, check your company's policy on giving gifts at work. Many employee handbooks include guidelines on gift giving, which should definitely be followed. It is also common for a company to have informal guidelines regarding gift giving, even if they do not have written rules about these policies. Ask somebody who has been at the company for longer than you have, or even better, ask several people before giving gifts at work.
No matter what the official company policy is, make sure that you never gift inappropriate gifts at work. Stay away from anything that could be construed as sexual or offensive, or even overly personal. If you give joke gifts, check with someone else to determine if the gift will be taken well or be considered offensive.
Giving gifts at work can be tricky if you work with a large group of people. It is extremely awkward to have a colleague find out that you gave gifts to some, but not all, of your co-workers. It is generally better to avoid gifts altogether than to leave one or two people out. In addition, remember that all of your colleagues may not celebrate the same holidays. Try to make gift-giving occasions less about religious holidays so that you don't leave someone out or offend them that way.
Many people find that they spend a considerable amount of money on giving gifts at work, and that some of the gifts will never be used. Instead, try to find cards that express good wishes, or make a donation in a co-worker's name. When making a donation, it is best if you can find out which cause or charity is important to your co-worker, as this thoughtfulness is usually much appreciated.
Some offices now skip gift giving for holidays and provide a special lunch for employees instead. Bridal and baby showers are still often held in the workplace, however, often in offices with a large number of female employees.