If you are thinking about giving your boss a birthday gift, check with your company policy to see what is acceptable. Some companies do not allow managers to receive gifts. Keep in mind that giving a gift could make your interactions with your boss awkward or could create a situation of pressure in which your boss feels obligated to return the gesture. If you feel the need to purchase a gift, then purchase a greeting card containing a professional birthday message or consider giving a group gift.
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Type of Card
Purchase a standard birthday greeting card that is professional. Cards are the ideal gift for a boss or other professional, as they allow you to express your appreciation without crossing any lines. Avoid a card that displays religious themes unless you know your boss's religion. You may offend your boss with religious themes.
Write a personal yet professional message inside the card. For example, you can write something like, "Thank you for the leadership you have provided to our team over the last year and for pushing us to strive for excellence every day. Happy Birthday!"
Individual or Group
A birthday card is appropriate for an individual or a group of co-workers to give to a boss. It allows employees to express their appreciation while maintaining professionalism and decreasing the expectation of receiving something in return. If you choose a group card, then ask all the employees to sign their name and write a personal, professional message. To this end, avoid jokes and colloquialisms. Instead, focus on professional attributes of your boss and your sincere thanks. An example: "Happy Birthday! Thank you for your work in advocating for higher raises for employees at Company X."
A verbal expression of thanks is an appropriate birthday gesture, as well. Follow similar rules to penning your birthday message. Avoid informal language, jokes and any language that might underscore the relationship between boss and employee. A simple, "Happy Birthday! Thank you for your leadership and advocacy in the workplace" is sufficient and will be appreciated.
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