Giving Gifts at Workadmin2019-04-04T21:59:33+00:00
HOW TO GIVE GIFTS IN CANADA
Should you give a gift to your manager? Is it okay to opt out of a gift collection? Which gifts are appropriate to give your co-workers? Here are some gift giving ‘rules’ for new immigrants to follow in Canada.
1. Employees are not expected to give a gift to their manager/boss in Canada.
Giving a gift to your manager, especially if it’s expensive, is likely to be considered a bribe or an attempt to ‘suck up’. If you have an amazing boss and you really want them to feel appreciated, get your colleagues to pitch in and make it a gift from a group.
2. Personal gifts to co-workers are not appropriate – do not give perfume, jewellery, clothes, lotions or anything else a person would put on their body.
3. Before giving alcohol, make sure a person actually drinks alcohol (it could be against their religion, or they could be a recovering alcoholic).
4. Chocolate is usually appropriate. It could also be easily regifted. It’s still a good idea to consider the possibility that a person could have diabetes, is trying to lose weight or is allergic to cocoa or milk.
5. Gift cards are probably the best gift you could give a person in Canada.
6. Flowers can set off some people’s allergies.
7. Never give expensive gifts to your co-workers. People will think you’re showing off and it will make the recipients feel uncomfortable. If it’s a holiday gift exchange and there’s a $25 limit on spending, follow the set limit.
8. Cheap gifts during holiday gift exchanges will be interpreted as you don’t care and just doing it because you have to.
9. Never give cash as a gift. Get some gift cards (Amazon, movies, restaurants, etc) instead.
10. If you’re giving a gift to some co-workers who are your friends, do it in private or outside of the office.
11. When someone is giving you a gift, smile and thank a person (even if you absolutely hate the gift).
12. Wrapping a gift nicely is really important in Canada. People will notice how well the gift was wrapped (use pretty paper, gift bags and bows).
13. After someone gives you a gift, write them a thank you note, mentioning the gift they gave you.
14. If your office is doing a collection for somebody’s birthday, wedding, birth of a child, etc., contribute as much as everyone or as much as you can. Contributing nothing makes you look bad.
15. Tickets to events and performances are considered good gifts in Canada. Coffee mugs and books on a topic a person is interested in, as well as pens and other desk items, are good office gifts as well.
16. If your gift is a ‘thank you’ gift, it’s important to get a thank you card to go with it.
Remember that a gift in a professional environment is different from a gift to a friend. A gift at work should never make a recipient feel uncomfortable. When in doubt, it’s better to give nothing than to give a wrong gift.
Your company may have a policy concerning gifts (for example, a gift you’re accepting from a client cannot exceed $25 in value). Make sure you’re familiar with the policy.