Race, gender, and many other factors play a role in our relationships with others. As an employer, this is something about which you must be extraordinarily thoughtful because a misstep can damage your employee-employer relationship and reflect poorly on your company as a whole. This is important to consider when you’re giving a gift as a business. So, how can you ensure that your gifts are appropriate?

Know What Appears Personal 

Gifting is a personal act, even when it’s done by a business. In fact, in order for a gift to be memorable, it must be personal to the recipient. According to the Knack 2019 Business Gift Satisfaction Report, 28 percent of those who received a memorable gift feel more likely to continue to work for the company in the future.

However, a gift also tells a story, and that story needs to be personal while not overstepping the boundaries into the romantic or awkward. According to Fast Company, “any Valentine’s Day-esk gifts are off limits; that includes perfume, flowers, and undergarments.” Be aware of the story you’re telling with your gift, and if it’s one that feels at all romantic, choose a different gift.

Know Your Employee

When you are giving, you also need to choose a gift that is suitable for your employee and one that is not offensive. While C-Suite executives receive more wine as a gift than others do, that doesn’t mean that wine is an appropriate gift for the executive who does not drink for religious or personal reasons.

Likewise, your gift should match your employee’s personal and religious beliefs. If you give a barbeque kit to someone who doesn’t eat meat for religious or other ethical reasons, you’re telling your employee that you either don’t value her beliefs or that you haven’t spent time actually getting to know her preferences.

While you can’t know everything about your employees, making a gift appropriately personal does involve some basic legwork to ensure that the gift reflects an employee’s needs and beliefs rather than working against them. When your employee sees that you have valued his personal needs and beliefs, he feels supported, validated, and appreciated by your company. Most of all, choosing the right gift makes your employees feel known, and that is what makes a gift memorable.

How to Show You Care 

Gifts can show you care without being intensely personal. For instance, if a colleague always gets stuck outside in the rain, a custom, handmade umbrella could be a personal, thoughtful, and slightly humorous gift, especially if you articulate the story behind your gifting choice.

According to the 2019 Business Gift Satisfaction Report, Millennials and C-Suite executives are shaping a move toward bringing personal values into gifting. While those values depend on the specific recipient, commonly-articulated values include a desire for handmade gifts, Made in the USA gifts, and gifts that are made by companies with a focus on supporting women or on socially-conscious, fair trade initiatives.

By taking your employee’s individual values into account, you send a personal message that’s both appropriate and impactful, and it’s one that will bring your employee into a closer working relationship with you.

At Knack, we focus on finding customized gifts that create a unique connection between you and your employees. Talk with us today about your corporate gifting, or shop gifts now to see how we can transform and elevate the way that you give.