Gifting in the Workplace

Each one of us has a primary appreciation language that speaks to our souls, that touches our being.  The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts, and Appropriate Touch.

Language of Appreciation: Tangible Gifts

This week’s focus is on the language of appreciation called “Tangible Gifts”.  Employees who speak the primary language of Tangible Gifts feel appreciated when they are rewarded with gifts. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that this is the least common appreciation language that people identify with in the workplace.  However, there are still many that will appreciate and feel appreciated when receiving a gift.


The Art of Gifting

While some may think that gift giving is an easier language to communicate to our co-workers and employees, giving tangible gifts is probably the most difficult. In order to be effective in giving a tangible gift to someone who really appreciates receiving a gift, the giver must be a great listener over a period of time.  In order to select a meaningful gift, you need to know the receiver well. I have a friend who knows one of his co-workers so well that when he wants to show appreciation to this person on his team, he buys a snickers bar for them.  It’s specific, effective and demonstrates the importance of the thought behind the gift, not the value.


Workplace Gifting Etiquette

Many of us are unsure about how to go about appropriately giving gifts in the office. First thing to keep in mind is to adhere to moral and legal standards. When considering giving a gift, be sure you are aware of and adhere to your organization’s policies, regulations and rules regarding gifting. Keep your gifts fairly modest to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable. Also, consider a group gift. Our office manager, Pam, is phenomenal at baking and always makes incredible treats on a co-worker’s birthday for the whole office to share.

What to Give? 

So what are appropriate items to give? There are so many ways to demonstrate this language of appreciation.  Think before you give.  Items to be given could be: gift cards, cash, flowers, sports tickets, event tickets, certificate, etc.

It is important to recognize that not everyone feels comfortable receiving gifts. But those who do are really moved by the thoughtfulness behind it.


Have you taken the time yet to find out what the languages of appreciation are of the people you work with?  Work for or work for you?  If you want to build a strong team, they need to feel appreciated. Visit to learn more.

About the Author, Jim Brangenberg

Jim's Mission: To transform Christian-run businesses through mentoring Christian Business Owners (CBOs) by incorporating the servant leadership of Jesus Christ in their businesses, their home life and their walk with Christ.

Jim Brangenberg