7 Most Unwanted Gifts: Don’t Make Your Employees Roll Their Eyes
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7 Most Unwanted Gifts: Don’t Make Your Employees Roll Their Eyes

One of the biggest challenges for corporate gifting is finding the right gift for the recipient. But one thing you can do is start by knowing what not to gift. Check out these 7 most unwanted gifts we collected from our past gifting campaigns and experiences.

Octavia Chen

Octavia Chen

Mar 29th 20235 min read

disappointing faces when receiving bad gifts

It is always a good idea for businesses to understand their employees more — what they like or dislike, what actions taken by the company will make them happy, what they truly desire from their careers, and…What kind of gifts do they want to receive?

But no one can know what everyone's thinking. And no one can know what gifts everyone wants to receive. Why not start from the other end? In this article, we will go over the 7 most unwanted gifts (the ranking is from Giftpack’s historical data and recipient reviews), so you will understand, at the least, what not to send to your recipients.

How Will Sending Unwanted Gifts Affect Your Company?

Most of the companies host office parties occasionally, and during that time, they will also send out gifts to their hardworking employees or their loyal customers. Some gifts just get their eyebrows raised in surprise, but there are also others that put a heavy frown on their faces.

A survey revealed that many companies don’t have a firm grasp on what gifts their workers and clients would really appreciate. In fact, 84% of workers say they’ve received a gift they didn’t want, and nearly 90% have faked a positive reaction to a bad one.

An inconsiderate gift can unexpectedly evoke negative comebacks. Giving people items or experiences that they are not interested in can be a missed opportunity to engage with your team members, which jeopardizes the relationships you are trying to build with your team. Moreover, it’s also a waste of resources if the gifts are just getting thrown away or even unclaimed.

If employee and client engagement and retention is on the priority list of your company, then going through these 7 most unwanted gifts to avoid sending the wrong gifts will save yourself a great deal of time, resources and money.

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7 Most Unwanted Gifts

Without further ado, we will introduce these unwanted gifts from not-so-bad to the worst gifts.

The Number 7 Unwanted Gift: Unpopular Gift Card Stores

Blank Brown Card

It feels good to receive gift cards, for that employees can choose to buy whatever their heart desires. But when receiving gift cards to stores that your employees have never been to or heard of, is a disaster. Employees will most likely not redeem the gift cards. On the other hand, they'll feel pretty much irritated and disrespected when receiving employee gifts as such. To avoid situations like that, come to Giftpack. We have over 300+ popular brands of gift cards on our platform.

The Number 6 Unwanted Gift: Generic Gift basket

generic gift basket

A gift basket is not necessarily a bad gift, but it is very traditional. To the younger generation, it might turn out to be boring. So you will need to consider your audience before making a decision on sending a gift basket. With that said, you must also be mindful of what is inside the basket. There’s nothing worse than getting a gift basket filled with food items that the recipients are allergic to or something they already have at home. Make sure to know what your recipients’ go-tos are and then curate the contents.

The Number 5 Unwanted Gift: Toiletries

bathroom cleaning spray

Toiletries are also a pretty bad gift example as they give off a veiled message that can be offensive to some. For example, imagine receiving toothbrushes during the Christmas season. It might send out the impression that the recipients had terrible hygiene. Gifts with hidden messages as such should be avoided. Not to mention that toiletries are day-to-day necessities, your employees probably already have it covered.

The Number 4 Unwanted Gift: Coffee Mug or Company-Branded Water Bottle

water bottles

One of the worst corporate gifts is a mug or an ordinary water bottle with the company logo on it. These kinds of items are given out to people too frequently. It is hard for the recipient to feel appreciated when they see that it’s just another branded mug.

Unless it’s hydro flask insulated coffee tumblers, or personalized wellness gem water bottles! When considering company gifts, businesses should think twice before sending out mugs and bottles especially as employee gifts. You don’t want your employees to feel you are not putting much effort in rewarding their hard work.

The Number 3 Unwanted Gift: Gift Tag

giftbox with a gift tag

Sending employees or clients gift tags seemed to be a bit sloppy. And it will just be the same gift from any other company. A “Happy Birthday” or a gift tag that says “We appreciate you!” may sound sweet, but there will be no festive feelings at all. There is no excitement. People want not only to feel recognized, but also receive gifts that are useful or nice, or even something that will surprise them.

Check out these team member gifts curated by our AI gifting platform and build a stronger relationship with your team.

The Number 2 Unwanted Gift: A Book On How To Do A Better Job

person reading a book

This is a gift that confuses your recipients, employees or clients. “Why am I receiving this book?” would be the first few things which they will start thinking about. It could show a really negative reflection on their work performance or trustworthiness. It can lead to the recipients start doubting their relationships with you.

No one will be happy receiving a gift like this, even if you have good intentions in the beginning. It might sound like an inspiring gift, but it isn’t. And it will definitely make you look like you are trying to present yourself as of higher status than your gift recipient. Consider before sending these types of gifts.

The Number 1 Unwanted Gift: X-Rated, Adult Gifts

heart shaped neon light

Adult items or anything sexual in nature is definitely considered the worst gifts to send to anyone, let alone an employee or a client. Even if you are maintaining a close relationship, a business relationship should always imply professionalism. No business partners wants to receive these types of gifts, it is not only unprofessional, but also extremely offensive.

Sending these types of gifts as a joke to a very close friend is a different story, but this SHOULD NEVER BE CONSIDER for corporate gifting situations. Otherwise, you will just be ruining your reputation and destroying the relationship that you’ve worked so hard to build.

It’s important to show your employees that you care about them by giving them something they would like. After all, a gift is supposed to represent the relationship between the giver and the receiver.

Remember, whether it's a holiday or summer party, when you wish to show your appreciation by sending gifts to employees or clients, you must know what gifts might be offensive to send. Don't be afraid to ask them what they may need or want based on their personal interests. You might just find something they love and would like to use on a daily basis.

Octavia Chen

Octavia Chen

Mar 29th 20235 min read

About Giftpack

Giftpack's AI-powered solution simplifies the corporate gifting process and amplifies the impact of personalized gifts. We're crafting memorable touchpoints by sending personalized gifts selected out of a curated pool of 3 million options with just one click. Our AI technology efficiently analyzes each recipient's social media, cultural background, and digital footprint to customize gift options at scale. We take care of generating, ordering, and shipping gifts worldwide. We're transforming the way people build authentic business relationships by sending smarter gifts faster with gifting CRM.

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