Q: It’s the holiday season, and the questions are starting to be asked: “Do I have to give my boss a gift?’ or “Do I have to get everyone in my department a gift” or “What’s an (in)appropriate gift for a colleague or manager?”
A: It’s not a good idea to give a gift to a manager just from you. From the perspective of the other people in your department you can look like you are trying to curry favor with her. Or you may end up putting your colleagues in the position of either having to buy a gift or competing against you by buying a more expensive gift. The best solution is for the workers in your area to pool their resources and buy one gift for the boss from everyone. Result: no competition and everyone is viewed equally.
Finally, be sure to thank the giver. If possible, open the gift when it is given so you can thank the person immediately. A brief follow up thank-you note is the perfect way to let the giver know you appreciate her thoughtfulness.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is Senior Vice President and Partner of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.