Finding the Perfect Business Gift

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It is that time of the year again - time to think about finding the right gift for people on your list.  As a business person, you have customers and employees both to think about.  But how do you decide on the right gift?

For customers, there are often policies in place that govern both the giving and receiving of gifts.  Take the time to understand your customer's gift receiving policies before embarrassing both you by giving a gift that cannot be accepted because rules don't allow for it.  If they can accept gifts, there is generally a dollar-value limit, so take care to understand that as well.  Once these ground-rules have been established, try to make the gift personal.  I cannot tell you how many cheese baskets I have received from suppliers over the years.  They were nice gestures, but I don't eat cheese and thus the gift was under-appreciated.

For employees, managers should also try and make the gift personal. The gift should be about one thing: making them feel like they’re understood and appreciated.  You need to take the time to understand your employees and what makes them tick.  Take the time to listen to their likes and dis-likes and tailor your gift to each person.  Let them know how much you value their contribution - a generic, one-size-fits-all gift doesn’t communicate that message, and can even leave your employees feeling unappreciated.

A well-thought-out gift during the holiday season can go a long way towards boosting morale and productivity in your organization by showing you have taken the time to understand the person a little bit better. Isn't that worth the time?