How and When to Buy Your Boss a Gift

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Is It a Good Idea to Gift a Boss?

Should you give your boss a gift? When should you do it? Buying a gift for your boss is often a slippery slope. It’s so easy for a gift to look like your way of sucking up or buying a favor or two. Not to mention that you can misread the situation and buy something inappropriate, which leads to a lot of awkwardness.

While nobody’s forcing you to get your boss a gift, some occasions do require it. For instance, if everyone’s buying Christmas gifts for each other, why not get your boss one as well? They’re only human too. Or if you feel like they’re going to hold a grudge against you if you don’t do it, then you’ll feel like you must get them something. Though this might be a sign you’re not working for a great boss, you should still think about what you’re going to get them.

Let’s check out what you should buy them, and when you should do it!

When Is It Appropriate to Give a Boss a Gift?

Generally speaking, the best (and safest) time to buy your boss a gift is when there’s an occasion for it. Let’s say it’s Christmas, or they’re celebrating something like a birthday or a career milestone. A nice giveaway for good timing is if you notice that your colleagues are doing the same.

Outside of celebratory moods, you can still feel the need to reward your boss. For example, let’s say your previous boss was someone you hated. Now, you’re in a perfect working environment, and you love working for your new boss. Why not show appreciation for them with a gift? By the time you want to thank them, you’ve probably already scoped out your company’s unwritten policies. If people are generally friendly with each other, then it’s fine. If not, a gift might be strange.

Either way, if you decide to get them something, don’t make a song and dance about it. Do it privately, in their office, don’t flaunt it around your coworkers.

When Is It Not a Good Time to Give a Boss a Gift?

Make sure there’s a proper reason for it. Like we’ve said, there is a time and a place for a gift, no matter how great your idea is. If you just turn up one day out of the blue with a wrapping paper sticking out of your bag, it’s going to be weird. Sure, you might feel like showing respect to your boss with a perfect gift, but think about how they could feel about it.

They will surely wonder what your unspoken attention is. Do you want a raise? Is this your way of breaking the glass ceiling? Why are you doing it? We’ve mentioned how some companies have an environment where giving presents is encouraged. Others, however, frown upon it. Make sure your present is not out of place.

How Much Should You Spend?

First of all, if there’s a group gift going on, you should always chip in. Give as much money as others. You don’t want to be a grinch, but that doesn’t mean you should be overpaying Owen. Just be a team member and do as the team does. When there’s a group thing going on, just go with the flow; you don’t even have to work on it. If you know your boss outside of work, and you want to give them something more personal, do that afterward, when you’re not in the office.

If, however, you’re flying solo, it’s important to hit the right amount in terms of the cash. Make sure your present is relatively inexpensive as you don’t want it to be over the top. However, giving them a $2 gum is also a bad idea. Usually, your expenses should be around 20–25 dollars. If you have a boss who loves an expensive bottle of wine, for instance, you should always get a colleague to make it into a group present.

Cool Gift Ideas for the Boss

Your gifts should be about something practical that will let your boss know you’ve thought about them. It might be something you know they enjoy or something you know they could do with. For instance, a utensil kit could be great for a boss who eats out or loves camping. Having a compact bag of stainless steel cutlery could be extremely handy. If they’re into cold coffee or tea, there are $30 cold brew bottles that will make cold coffee for them.

As you can see, it’s all about what you think would be a good gift for your boss personally. If you go random and buy a coffee mug for a boss who hates coffee, you’re better off not getting them anything. Think about what they like. Maybe a subscription box from their favorite brand could be a great gift. A funny desk sign or a stress reliever toy could also do the trick. It’s all down to how well you know the person that’s behind the desk.

Biggest No-No

Finally, we get to the one gift that, no matter the circumstances, is always a bad idea. That’s cash. Just don’t give them cash — that’s a terrible choice. First of all, it gives out an impression you either know nothing about them or you’ve thought of it last minute.

How much are you going to give them anyway? Since they’re your boss, it goes without saying they have a heftier paycheck. A small amount will seem trivial, while a large one is just inappropriate. Any choice you make is going to be the wrong one. So just avoid cash.

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