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Group gift-giving at work

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in Business Etiquette,Workplace Communication

When a group of co-workers chip in to buy a gift for a colleague, should they allow noncontributors to sign the card, as well? Or should they leave the gift shirkers out in the cold?

Silvia, an office coordinator in Florida, posed this etiquette question to us recently.

Our answer: Better to include than exclude. It may be frustrating that only some people contribute to a group gift. But you have to assume that people who don’t contribute have legitimate reasons for doing so.

“I was young and broke once, so I guess I can understand,” responded Silvia.

Besides, the recipient will feel more appreciated when he or she sees everyone’s name on the card. And, after all, etiquette boils down to making the other person feel comfortable.

Another benefit, added Silvia, is that “when it’s my turn, I’ll be happy that everyone signed my card, and I can pretend they all contributed.”

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