The company you work for is celebrating a milestone, and you’re wondering whether you should get a work anniversary gift for your boss on behalf of the team.
If your manager is someone who adds value to your workday and helps others grow professionally, you may want to show your appreciation for them in a tangible way.
But gifting etiquette can be tricky, especially in the workplace.
So how do you maintain professionalism but get the message across that you appreciate them?
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
This article looks at some of the dos and don’ts of gifts for bosses and includes many great gift ideas.
The type of gift you give your boss will depend on the type of relationship your boss has with your team. Is your relationship strictly professional, or do you socialize after work hours?
There are times when individual gifts may be appropriate, but a collective present from the whole team is often more suitable in an office setting.
Remember that giving your boss a gift is a way of expressing your appreciation and acknowledging their leadership.
Aside from their work anniversary, you might want to send your wishes on the following occasions:
Before jumping into our list of gift ideas, here are a few points to consider before deciding on a gift:
People appreciate the thought and effort that goes into a handwritten card. Of course, you want to make sure that the message you write in the card is specific to the recipient and not just a cliché’d thank you for being a good person.
Step it up a notch with a card that turns into beautiful flowers when planted. If you want to keep it simple and understated, write work anniversary wishes to your boss on a card made of seed paper. It is rewarding to plant the card and see the plants grow.
Is your boss one for stopping in at Starbucks on the way to work, or the type of person who needs a caffeine lift by lunchtime? A Starbucks gift card could be a winner for expressing your appreciation. Get your company to allocate part of the budget to cover a good few weeks’ worth of coffee.
If coffee on the go is not your boss’s thing or they prefer a good quality coffee at home, a coffee subscription is a way to go. There are coffee companies that will deliver monthly high-quality coffees from the best regions for the subscription period.
For the boss who loves café coffee at home, check out the variety of coffee kits available. Basic kits contain a portable brewer and a mini manual grinder - perfect for that one excellent caffeine fix. The more serious home barista will favor a grinder that supports all grind types for any brewer and an automatic drip machine.
If you know that your boss enjoys good wine or is particular about pairing wine and food, look for a field guide or book covering the principles of food and wine matching. Of course, also include a nice bottle of wine to go with the gift!
Good quality olive oil is excellent to cook with; it elevates any meal. Taste aside, we know that olive oil is loaded with antioxidants and other health benefits.
Look for a gourmet, fresh-pressed olive oil full of particulate matter. The cloudiness of this oil does not mean poor quality but rather the top of the range with a fuller flavor.
There are plenty of options to add some greenery to your boss’s desk or office.
A small potted plant for their workspace could add a bit of color to each day.
If your boss is keen on plants but not on their maintenance, air plants or small succulent gardens could manage a little neglect. Or, if bonsai is your boss’s thing, perhaps buy a small bonsai tree to add to their collection.
Some people love good quality pens. There are even those who have sizable valuable pen collections. Of course, we know that high-end pens can come with a high price, but a good pen is worth considering if the work anniversary budget allows for it.
A nice frame to contain the memory of a fun group outing with the boss and the team is a simple yet impactful work anniversary gift for your boss. It will show that the team appreciates them.
This one could be a bit tricky. You don’t want to add an unnecessary dust collector to your boss’s already overcrowded desk. But a tiny magnetic desk toy could function as an excellent mental break and stress reliever.
Desk cable clips are a small practical work anniversary gift for a boss who is constantly battling a jumble of cords on their desks.
A few of these cable clips will sort out the cord confusion in a neat and organized way.
It might be hard to imagine your boss sitting at their desk coloring in, but that’s not the idea here.
Adult coloring books are for relaxation. They are full of complex geometric patterns meant to induce a meditative state. It could be a perfect way to help them wind down after a long day.
If your boss is into fitness, then a quick drying towel is not just perfect for a compact gym bag, but it’s also a space saver in a backpack when hiking.
These featherlight microfibre blend towels are highly absorbable, dry fast, and don’t leave a musty smell in your kit bag. Get your boss’s name embroidered on it to personalize the gift and show you put thought into it.
Apple Airpods are small and convenient but easy to lose or damage in a desk drawer or handbag. This is an affordable work anniversary gift for a boss, and with so many designs to choose from, you are sure to find one in a color or design that your boss will enjoy.
A slim Bluetooth keyboard is a fabulous traveling accessory if you know your boss uses a tablet. This lightweight item eliminates the need to travel with a cumbersome laptop while still allowing them to get their typing done easily on their tablet.
A smart unit luggage tracker is the perfect work anniversary gift for bosses who travel frequently. There are many smart luggage tags to choose from. But all of them store your flight details, itinerary, and connect to an app on your phone so your boss can track their luggage with ease when they travel.
While we are on the travel theme, how about gifting your frequent flyer boss with a mini travel pillow? Small, supportive and comfortable, these compact pillows allow a nap in transit.
Is your boss an avid reader or part of a book club? This unique gift easily embosses books simply by pressing down on them.
Books are not all that can be embossed. It’s perfect for personalizing envelopes and letters.
If your boss is an avid reader, a book voucher is a great way to mark their work anniversary.
Instead of going straight for the self-help books that leaders typically enjoy, rather buy a voucher. This way, they can choose what to buy. After all, you don’t want to make any assumptions about their personal or professional interests and abilities.
If your boss pulls dog-eared business cards from a back pocket or bottom of a handbag, they could probably use a classy leather business card case.
Look for a case with a no-fuss magnetic closure and add a monogram for personalization.
Everybody loves tech that makes their lives easier. Find your keys or valuable belongings easily with a tiny Bluetooth tracker that connects to an easy-to-use app.
Most people have a hobby outside of work. If your boss has a favorite after-hours pastime, find out if there is a way in which you can contribute to it. The gift could be some equipment they need or even a class or workshop they would benefit from.
Does your manager have a favorite local sports team? What about a couple of season tickets for your boss and a plus one to enjoy their favorite sports? This is a perfect work anniversary gift if your boss is a big sports fan.
If you know that your boss is passionate about collectors’ wines or whiskeys, then buying a special bottle of their favorite spirit or wine can be something they savor. Check in with the team to see if anyone knows their drink of choice, and then gift it as a treat they can enjoy at home or after hours.
While Best Boss paraphernalia may seem a little generic, it can have its place. There are some pretty funny t-shirts, mugs, caps, quotes, and even memes that will put a smile on your boss’s face.
First, consider if this type of gift matches their personality. If it does, lean in on the cheesy and combine it with a gift card to match.
A work anniversary gift for your boss from the whole team is a great way to show everyone’s appreciation. Depending on the milestone the person is reaching, grab the budget and get everyone together for input on what to buy.
While it is important to express your best wishes by giving your boss something you know they will appreciate, you don’t want to misjudge their personality.
Of course, the gift that you decide on will depend on how well you know your boss, but in an office setting, keep it professional.