YOU are the chosen one.
Arranging the next office group gift/shower/money collection is a big responsibility. Either you got an e-mail from your boss, the celebrator is your workplace BFF or you are the team leader – you have no clue where to start.
Asking friends and coworkers to chip-in for a group gift is not a fun nor professional task, it might seem that five or ten dollars doesn’t make a big deal. However, when you add up everyone’s birthday, George’s farewell gift and lest we forget about Lisa’s upcoming baby shower – it ends up with many coworker’s gifts and asking for a LOT of money.
Keep that in mind – The etiquette of office gift giving might be different from one office to another, but the idea behind those office celebrations remains the same and it is meant to put some fun in our 9 to 5, and maintain a happy workplace culture. We made this essential list in order to keep it that way. You can choose any money collecting way best suited to fit to your workplace but the guidelines are all the same:
- It HAS to be fun. If it’s not, think twice before hitting that send button.
- Point the amount you wish people to chip-in. Pro tip: During our research we found that the average asking amount is around $5-$20
- Optional: Make the collecting anonymous. Do not obligate people to chip-in and do not judge them for their decision.
- Surprises are always fun! (Okay, not always, so make sure you know what kinds of gift-giving celebrations your gift receiver enjoys.)
- Small and close-knit groups of friends and co-workers are most effective in achieving your gift-giving goals.
Let’s stop fooling around and drill down to the different ways you can collect money at the workplace.
1. Collect money in advance- The party fund:
It usually works better for the celebration itself rather than a gift; use it for snacks, decorations, balloons, greeting cards, etc… there are endless occasions to celebrate. Instead of collecting money for each celebrator separately, start the year by taking $20 from every team member, and build a list together outlining how the money will be spent.
If you have not spent the entire amount, you can save it for next year or surprise your team more often! Let the other teams jealous.
- It is transparent and you gain insight into what types of celebrations your team is thinking about in advance.
- Everybody is contributing and receiving the same amount, which helps create a good feeling within the team.
- There will be no more money collecting issues every time there is a celebration (a big plus).
- Calculating the amount of money people need to chip-in in advance can be a bit tricky, and could be difficult if you under-budget and need to ask for more later.
- There is no longer an element of surprise for anyone, as the employees know what type of things to expect.
2. No more plastic bags! Pass an envelope.
With the infinite number of internal communication apps, it becomes easier to reach as many people as we want. Spreading the word on our collection has never been this easy, but the problem with collecting the money still remains.
After you send out the message (include the celebrator, reason for collecting, and the expected amount) write the celebrator’s name on a big envelope, and pass it through the workplace. Don’t forget to mention who you’re celebrating and why.
- You might keep the surprise!
- It’s anonymous and everyone can chip-in what they feel like.
- While contributing, each member can write his name and make it easy for you to track.
- It is not a fun and engaging money collection process.
- It involves cash, and we people never have the exact amount, any small bills, no change… we’ve heard it all.
- The envelope might come back to you with less than you expected. Another round??
3. Mobile payments & Money collection apps:
The age of smartphones and even smarter apps have made our life easy; solving almost every problem we ever had, including a BIG one when it comes to collecting money – cash. There are plenty of mobile payment apps making it easy to transfer money from one to another. Make sure you are choosing an app with group-collecting features like Tilt or Paybox. This strategy puts the emphasis on transferring and collecting money, as opposed to the actual buying of a group gift, but whether this is a good or bad strategy for your specific work culture is for another discussion.
- All you need to do is download the app that best fits you, open an event, and tell your team to download.
- No cash involved, at all.
- Team members can easily transfer the correct amount in one quick, simple action.
- With all the apps that are out there, people are less interested in downloading new ones and especially giving out their credit card details.
- The less personal the collection gets, the more energy and effort you will need to chase after the payments.
- You have to keep in-app technical issues in mind.
Like everything else in life, each money collecting way has its ups and downs. You know your co-workers and you can figure out which practice will fit their desires best. Remember, our mission is to create a happy workplace culture, so don’t afraid to spice things up! Adding new and fun gift-giving traditions is always a reliable way to boost office morale.
So now after you have collected money from everyone, you need to start thinking about the gift itself! Consider these 7 steps for finding the perfect gift as your next ones.
Keep us updated on your money collection process ☺ Comment below and tell us which way was the best fit to your workplace!