Business etiquette tells us gift giving in the office traditionally comes from a boss to an employee. You should never feel obligated to purchase a gift for a superior. Besides, appearances being what they are, even the most innocent of gifts could seem to colleagues as an attempt to “buy” your way into someone’s good graces.
So, given all that, what exactly do you do for National Boss’s Day on Monday, October 16th?
If you want to mark the occasion with a gift, by all means, do. But consider giving a group gift rather than one on your own. After all, you probably work on a team, and it just stands to reason that a gift should come from all of you.
Email your colleagues to see whether anything is in the works. If not, take it upon yourself to plan something. You’ve got about a week to nail everything down. Use those delegation skills to get all the details squared away, like who’s in charge of the money collection, the purchase, the gift-wrap, the card, etc.
This, of course, leads us to the biggest question of all: What gift do you give the head honcho?
In an effort to help, we’ve compiled a number of gift ideas for the different types of bosses in the workplace today. Some will be more appropriate than others, depending on the personality and lifestyle of the person in charge.
If you work in a more conventional workplace, and for a more conventional boss, chances are good that a more conventional gift is the way to go. Consider buying a leather business planner, and then personalize it with his or her initials. Or, you can always ship a Starbucks gift basket with a stainless steel travel mug right to your boss’s office door.
If you work in advertising, publishing, or even architecture, the top dog is likely a creative type. And that means you can let your creative juices flow when picking out a token of gratitude. On the cheap side, there’s always 642 Things to Draw or The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering. When you want to spend a little more, consider the Sensu Digital Artist Brush, which lets you “paint” on the iPad, iPhone, and other touchscreen devices.
An idealistic boss is often guided by his or her principles, and most of the attention is paid to the future. So as far as gift giving goes, you’re probably safe making a donation in your boss’s name. Hand-made gifts are also an option, like a scrapbook from the team, filled with notes on specific instances when something your boss said or did that had a positive impact on work or life.
One look, and you can tell whether you’re working for a trendsetter. He or she is always in the know of what’s hot and what’s not, which can make gift giving a bit of challenge. The person has taste, and you never know if you’ll find a gift to match it. So, the best option is to go with the hottest gifts, like a woodsy room spray from Aesop, the ultimate sleep experience from Slip, or a signature canvas tote from Will.
Like the trendy boss, it’s easy to spot a tech-head. Without fail, he or she will have the newest and hottest gadgets around. In this situation, you can always pick up a Wi-Fi Range Extender. Who doesn’t need a little more power at work or home? If your techy boss also has a penchant for grilled food, there’s also the Grillbot Automatic Grill Cleaner. It’s like Roomba, only for a grill.
The playful boss isn’t a far cry from the creative one. But instead of more artistic endeavors, this boss probably values fun. For gift giving, you can never go wrong with music, like Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker or JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Speaker. If you’d rather keep the price on the lower end, Doodling for Dog People is always an option.
With gift giving, you always want to make it about the recipient — even when that recipient is the boss. If you do decide to get a gift for National Boss’s Day, tailor it to the person and give it from the heart. Otherwise, it won’t matter how much or how little you spend. It’ll just come off as an empty gesture at best.