The gift that is for everyone in the office – when should you give it, and when should you give a gift that’s for each individual alone? In The Social Psychology of the Gift, Barry Schwartz argues that gifting involves “distributive justice.” One person gives, and the other keeps a silent tally and gives a gift or takes action that is of a similar value. If gifting is about this one-on-one transaction, then does it actually work to give a shareable gift?

The Meaning of the Gift 

Gifting has long been a favorite topic of sociologists, and it’s a fascinating social transaction. When you give to a member of the C-Suite of the organization with which you collaborate, you’re solidifying your relationship by stating that you value that organization and the individuals within it. You’re also stating in an unspoken way that you expect the relationship to continue. As gifts flow back and forth, the relationship continues and builds.

The Knack 2019 Business Gift Satisfaction Report shows that “a gift that’s selected just for me” is a highly meaningful kind of gift. However, what happens when you give a person in the C-Suite a gift that they can share? As it turns out, there will likely be a strong positive reaction. Why does this gift work, even though it’s meant to be shared?

Why Shareability Brings Meaning 

According to Time Magazine, “scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness.” When you give a gift, you benefit psychologically as well. However, when you give a gift that the recipient can share, that person also gains even more by sharing that gift with others. A gift that can be shared is one that gives two times over.

Who Wants Shareable Gifts? 

The 2019 Business Gift Satisfaction Report notes that the higher up in a company an individual is, the more he or she appreciates gifts that are shareable. If you’re giving to your lower-level employees or to people at your partner company who are not in the C-Suite, don’t expect them to share their gift around the office. Give them items that tell them that you appreciate their unique contribution to the company. As you look higher up in the office, though, consider giving a shareable gift.

Personalizing Your Shareable Gift 

One of the ways to personalize your gift is to include a message, and it’s here that you can state the meaning of your gift. If your gift is shareable, then you can link this to your message as well. For instance, you could send a gift that’s meant to be shared with family, noting that the person you send it to loves to host BBQs with family members. You could send a gift of luxury coffees, chocolates, and a handmade mug to a member of the C-Suite for those late nights at the office, knowing that they will share it with the team. By adding a tangible item for the individual and a note that adds personal meaning, you make that gift both personal and shareable at the same time.

At Knack, we know how to make your gifting meaningful. Whether you’re giving holiday gifts to your employees or considering what to give new employees, we can help you make the right gifting choice. Learn more about Knack today.