Corporate Gifts

Written by Shirley Parker
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Selecting corporate gifts to send can resemble walking through a minefield. In most instances, employees are not allowed to accept anything of value from a customer or someone else the company does business with, unless the gift is valued at $25 or less. That pretty much leaves out everything except flowers, tins of cookies, or wine and cheese baskets. It's also easy to offend people who don't drink wine, so it's hard to win, any way you go. Some gifts arrive anonymously via UPS residential service and are obviously valued at more than $25.

Corporate gifts given for the holidays within a company's own walls are equally sensitive. Female employees often receive expensive cosmetics kits that they can't use. Male employees tend to receive pen and pencil sets, when there's no room in their cramped cubicles for another paper clip. Hello! Is anyone paying attention?

Even when gift certificates redeemable at stores that carry a wide selection of goods are wisely presented instead, contractors and temps need to be included, to prevent hurt feelings that last for years and carry into the community at large. All the public relations in the world won't overcome what people know about the way a business treats workers. A company that learns this lesson early will not only prosper in many ways, but will receive better employee reaction to motivational corporate gifts of artwork, admonishing them to reach for the stars.

Corporate Gifts and Food Baskets

Many large and small companies very generously give turkeys and/or food baskets for Thanksgiving or other holidays, yet it's not unusual for an employee's home not to have a large oven. Single employees may not even have a kitchen. This caution should go double for anyone donating food to a needy family they don't know personally. Ask the priest, pastor, or social worker, for example, if the family has a working oven before donating hams or turkeys. It's best to always look for something unique, but useful and unobtrusive. Engraved keychains or money clips are often appropriate.

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