My team is assembling a common wedding gift set for a new employee in our office. I have been on the staff for about a month, and our team is a mix of managers and junior employees (she is a junior employee).
My question is: What is the appropriate amount to contribute to the collective gift? Are managers expected to provide more even if they do not work directly with the recipient? We will be giving a Visa gift card so it’s not like we have to reach for a certain dollar amount to get a gift from the registry.
None of the staff is invited to the wedding as a guest because we don’t know her very well. I realize that no one knows how much I contribute other than the person who organizes the gift, but because it’s a wedding I feel I have to give more than I usually do to someone I don’t know very well.
what do you think about this?
There’s no doubt this woman’s wedding is a very big problem in her life, but let’s be honest: it’s just not that important to you.
We all have a lot of acquaintances, each of them will celebrate major events in his life. But we only have a lot of money, time and space of mind. So we have to focus our resources on the people we hold dear. Office hierarchies seem irrelevant here because you don’t work closely with this employee.
You are not obligated to contribute anything. Realistically, however, there is a lot of pressure when co-workers demand the money. Since chipping doesn’t seem to get you in trouble, I’d say fork over $ 10 or $ 20.
A good practice that can help you keep gift giving in perspective is setting aside a small amount each month for gifts. Put it based on how much you can spend on gifts, but also on how much you want. Maintain a separate bank account for this purpose only Budget class It can simplify things even more.
The goal isn’t just to stop yourself from spending too much on gifts. Processing money that you have to spend on special occasions for others forces you to determine what is important to you. If you ever feel that you need to give more to someone who is a little player in your life in honor of their special occasion, then ultimately you have to accept that it might mean spending less on your best friend’s birthday gift or your parent’s anniversary gift.
As for how to approach the giving of group gifts in the office, I think there are some important lessons here. First and foremost, anyone who organizes an office gift must understand that people do not contribute solely out of goodwill. Nobody wants to look like the cheap office guy.
It might not seem like a big deal if you are financially stable, but when you live on paycheck, having random wedding gifts, birthday cakes, and gifts throughout the year can be a real stress. Don’t assume you know if someone you work with is struggling or not.
If you are the coordinating person, make it easy for someone not to contribute without feeling ashamed. Email everyone who completes the plan. Make it clear that bidding is completely optional. If someone doesn’t offer, assume there is a reason and it’s none of your business. Under no circumstances should you gossip about who gave the tolerable.
Also, tread very carefully before asking employees to contribute with someone in a higher position. Again, I don’t think your own ranks are a major factor here since you don’t work directly with the bride. I also feel great about the fact that you all share a gift for a junior employee. However, this would give me a pause if junior employees were asked to contribute to a gift for their boss.
Alison Green Ask a manager He has a good rule of thumb here, which is that gifts in the workplace should flow down, not up. In other words, it’s fine for managers to give gifts to their employees, but employees shouldn’t be asked to dispense with their boss’s gift.
Individually, each of you wonders what is the right amount to give and what amount to give others. But collectively, it doesn’t really matter how much you offer. You are showing your new colleague that she is welcome. I’m sure she and her future husband will appreciate the gentle gesture, no matter how big or small she is.
Robin Hartell Certified Financial Planner and Senior Writer for The Penny Hoarder. Send your tough financial questions to [email protected].