There are unwritten and unsaid rules about giving corporate gifts even on seemingly modern countries like Singapore. With a thousand of corporate gift ideas out there, people still find themselves in trouble and trapped on some corporate gifting faux pas because they fail to be observant and they may lack that sense of decency that does not come naturally to everyone. Never be a victim of such social disgrace and read some of the undesirable, let alone, shameful corporate gift habits that a lot of people sadly still do.
The deal with gifting the secretary or even the spouse: John Ruhlin, founder and CEO of Ruhlin Group particularly wrote this in his article in entrepreneur.com dubbed Avoid These 4 Business Gift-Giving Faux Pas “Social media sites and Google can tell you almost anything about a person’s career path and interests, but your contact’s assistant is an underutilized resource. Assistants aren’t gatekeepers; they’re trusted partners who know the person and his or her family intimately. So, send the same—or a better—gift to your recipient’s assistant to earn trust and strengthen your relationships. Spouses are also fair game. But sending gifts to kids makes recipients uncomfortable. Spare the kids unless you’ve met them — it’s better to appreciate the inner circle than invade it.”
Sending business gifts to get a promotion: Your boss can sense when you are trying to edge someone out—and when you are really doing nice things to get a promotion that you obviously have been dying to receive for years. Play it fair because getting what you want through trickery isn’t like getting something because you truly worked hard for it. It is never the same knowing that there was a deceit involved. Shiona Lee, VP for Corporate Communications of Shimmerlings, Inc. has seen moves like this in the past, “I once had an intern who came from a well-off family so she can afford buying business gifts from expensive stores in Singapore. She gave all her superiors nice bags, but in the end, we did not offer her a real job because she lacked the skills we needed.”
No, no to plastering images on items: Honestly, it is such a turn off to see your oval face plastered on a coffee mug that you have decided to be your official gift to your colleagues. Mark our words, 90 percent of those you gifted will throw it away or stash it somewhere where they would never have to be reminded of your smiling but annoying face (unless the person has a crush on you). Should you design that mug or cup, make it tasteful—and avoid self-serving images of your personhood. People might think you are too in love with your image or something—it will feel like you are shameless in promoting yourself.
Sweets are not always sweet: Cakes, cupcakes, truffles, chocolate chip cookies—nom nom, right? But be mindful of who you are sending them too. Old people always watch their sugar intake, and you’ll never know who’s got a worsening diabetes condition. Just be careful of those sweets because they are not as sweet as they may seem. They can tempt people—and not everyone can resist.