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5 Do's & Don'ts of Employee Gifting | Gift Smack Gift Company

The Etiquette of Workplace Gifting

You know the feeling you get when someone brings you a surprise cup of coffee on their way into the office? …and they even knew your exact coffee order! At Gift Smack, we believe that gifting in the workplace should give someone that same feeling, but on a whole new level.

Gifting is a great way to spread joy and express gratitude while building trust in a professional relationship. Sending staff gifts should be intentional, fair, and well-thought-out.

This can leave decision-makers wondering, "What is an appropriate gift for my team?" Here at Gift Smack, we’ve heard it all, and we know that certain gifting ‘rules’ apply to gift exchanges across all industries and situations. Whether you are sending out employee gifts for birthdays, employee appreciation day, or the holidays – We've got the tips you need to navigate the complexities of the corporate gifting world.

Our vast experience with employee gifting and countless client gift exchanges over the years have provided us with some go-to etiquette tips to keep in mind.

Every day we help employers send out intentional crafted gift boxes and we know the appropriate and suitable gifts to send. Here are our 5 Do’s and Don'ts of Employee Gifting. 

1. Plan Ahead


In our busy world birthdays, holidays, and appreciation days arrive in a flash. Try to look a few months ahead on the calendar and mark down important dates. Also, consider setting some time aside to research and make the gifting arrangements.

Create a list of go-to gifts for special occasions. Having three options of ready-to-order and similarly priced gift boxes for the foodie, the spa lover, or the coffee fanatic is a great way to keep birthday gifts fair, but personal.

Join our email list to receive regular newsletters filled with friendly reminders of important workplace gifting dates.


Avoid being the boss running around on the day of collecting random ill-fitting cards, $5 gift cards, and a fruit basket. Everyone loves a treat, but a well-thought-out gift goes so much further.

PRO TIP: Add your employees' birthdays to a calendar once they are hired. Set a gifting reminder for 2-3 weeks out so that no one is left forgotten!


2. Choose Wisely


When gifting to the entire office/staff, make sure no one is forgotten! Have your team lists ready to go and keep it updated with new hires and those who have moved on in their career.

If you’re gifting to a select group, hand off the gifts in private meetings or off-site with only the select recipients to avoid creating tension or comparisons. We want employee recognition and team-building, not office drama!


Avoid picking favourites and approach workplace gifting with equality. Budget to spend the same amount on each individual at each seniority level. 

3. Avoid Alcohol


Overall, we think alcohol is a gift to avoid. There are so many amazing gifts to choose from, so let’s avoid this more complex topic. 

If you do give alcohol as a gift, only give it at appropriate times when you’ve previously confirmed that the recipient partakes. That being said, you never know when someone makes a lifestyle change or is trying to cut back. 

If you’re unsure if someone enjoys drinking alcohol, then play it safe and choose another gift.

4. Avoid Allergens


In this day and age, many people have dietary restrictions - so sometimes you just have to go for it! However, when choosing a gift with food or body products you can always send out a quick survey to collect any allergy information. A survey will hint that a gift is coming soon, and ruin the surprise element of the experience, so depending on the situation it may be better to choose an allergen-free option. For example - choose chocolate, over candied nuts.

5. Make It Custom


When selecting the perfect gift for someone consider the entire experience of receiving the gift. Every small detail from the packaging to the gift's contents adds to the experience.

When sending multiple gifts to a group of people from your company, we recommend customizing the packaging by adding branding 


Don’t go too crazy with the branding! Subtle and intentional logos look amazing, tacky promo doesn’t. We don’t want genuine gratitude gifts to come across as a company sales pitch.


Custom Branding for Employee Gifts Canada


Remember Your Goal

Three things to keep in mind when selecting employee gifts – Gift Smack’s 3 Golden Rules


  • Make it timely - plan ahead, remember special occasions, and place your orders in time!
  • Keep it thoughtful - Don’t forget anyone, choose personalized gifts, and avoid giving items that people won’t actually use!
  • Express gratitude - Sometimes during the gifting process we get lost in the glitz and glam. Try to remember the goal and express gratitude by writing a genuine card or sharing a few thoughtful words when handing off the gift.

Employee gifting takes a little time and energy, but it is so worth it. The feedback we get from employers who take the time to organize thoughtful appreciation gifts is always positive. 


"I needed to buy a few quick corporate thank-you gifts and Gift Smack came through! They quickly helped me find what I needed at the right price, and the packaging was so pretty. They even gave me thank you cards for personalized notes. Would recommend 100%!" - DH


This is a lot to keep in mind and gift ideas can seem daunting!

At Gift Smack, we make it easy. We’ve used our years of corporate gifting experience to put together luxurious and intentional employee gifts. Take a look at our ready-to-ship options or fill out our custom gifting form here (this is great for large orders)!

About Us:

We love giving, we love experiences, we love quality and we love Canadian-made products.

Our obsession with creativity made us take a fresh look at the world of gift-giving. We know the landscape of shopping is changing and wanted to make giving thoughtful, meaningful gifts as easy as clicking a button.

You won’t find anything in our selection of gifts that we wouldn’t buy or use (or don’t already buy and use!) and we find joy in sharing our unique selection with you.

Each gift is carefully packed in a beautiful gift box and comes complete with a handwritten message. After all, it’s our job to worry about all the little details for you.

Luxury gifts for every occasion:

  • Completely Custom Gifts
  • Baby Gifts
  • Bridal Party Gifts
  • Spa & Relaxation Gifts
  • Modern Office Gifts
  • Employee Gifts
  • Client Gifts
  • Holiday Gifts
  • Housewarming/Possession Day Gifts
  • Christmas Gifts
  • + More!

Looking to create custom business gifts? 

Get Gifting!