Appropriate Occasions To Exchange Gifts in the Workplace

Giving gifts is a wonderful way to show appreciation for someone and to honor them during special moments. However, gift-giving is a little different in work environments—you want to ensure you are following the proper protocol. Here are some appropriate occasions to exchange gifts in the workplace.


Employee birthdays are the first occasion appropriate for exchanging gifts in the workplace. There’s no harm in giving someone a birthday gift at work as long as the gift fits in with the proper protocol for your company. Avoid giving any gifts that someone may perceive as inappropriate, improper, or tasteless. Birthday cards and gift cards can be great options for employee birthdays.


Holidays are another time when giving gifts to people in your workplace is suitable. Holidays like Easter and Halloween are more common for exchanging treats like candy and chocolate, while holidays like Christmas are more common for larger gifts. During these occasions, it’s best to gift everyone the same thing to avoid nepotism, especially if you are a manager, supervisor, or person in a position of authority over employees. It can be helpful to reference corporate gift ideas for employees at these times.


When someone gets a promotion, it’s also an ideal time for giving a gift. These gifts don’t need to be elaborate or expensive. In fact, it’s probably better if they are more modest to avoid stirring up jealousy and favoritism in the work environment. But even a card of congratulations signed by everyone in the office is a suitable gift for someone getting a promotion at the company.

Work Anniversaries

Work anniversaries are the fourth scenario in which it is appropriate to exchange gifts at work. Employee anniversaries are an ideal time for gifts from management and higher-ups in the company. These gifts can be as simple as a greeting card, gift card, or company swag to encourage loyalty and retention rates. These gifts are also a great way to thank your employees for their continued efforts, hard work, and dedication in their roles and positions.

Award Ceremonies

And, of course, award ceremonies are another good time for presenting gifts to employees. The ideal gift at a company award ceremony is the award itself. You don’t necessarily need to present other various gifts, but it’s helpful to have an idea of what types of awards to give. For example, you can present employees with certificates, plaques, glass awards, ribbons, trophies, and statues.

Now that you know the appropriate times to give gifts in the workplace, you can utilize these tips today. Always be sure that the gifts you give follow company protocol and are appropriate and suitable.


Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.

Related Articles