Gift Giving: Should a boss gift a subordinate?

by epi on March 15, 2012

Q: Should managers give gifts to their employees?

A: With individual gifts, the rule of thumb is: never up, always down.  While it’s appropriate for a manager to give a gift to a subordinate, it is not OK for an individual employee to give a gift to a manager (although a group is fine).  In general, holiday gifts from managers to employees are not necessarily required, especially if you work in a large shop.  In a large office, a manager might appropriately limit gift-giving to the people who report directly to him or her or to the support staff who work with him or her most closely.  If you’re going to be selective, it’s very important not to give any gifts in front of employees who won’t be receiving gifts.  A good alternative is to give a gift that everyone can share — such as a large gift basket of snack foods or an assortment of chocolates from a chocolatier.

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