“A boss should make some sort of gesture to show appreciation,” says business-etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore.
Even if your employees get year-end bonuses, a personalized (but not too personal: steer clear of the peppermint body lotion!) “thank-you” helps spread good cheer.
Here are five tips:
Treat everyone on your staff equally. Consider a group gift, like taking the team out for lunch.
If you do plan to give an individual gift to someone who works closely with you—say, a long-time executive assistant—don’t flaunt it in front of other employees.
- Factor in the corporate culture. Do other mid-level managers give gifts to their immediate team? Then do the same.
- Think small. Unless you’re Oprah, think token gift. Lavish gifts can be inappropriate and land you in hot water with HR or the IRS (see below).
- Let human resources know your plans. Check if there are any gift-giving guidelines. Many companies limit gifts to certain small dollar amounts or categories—for example, food items may be acceptable while wine is not.
- Know the tax rules. If you’re self-employed or run a small business, you may be able to deduct small gifts valued at roughly $25 or less. Cash and gift-cards are not deductible, however, as they’re viewed as employee compensation.