Retirement Gift Etiquette

by Anonymous

I'm a CXO at a medium size company. I need some help with retirement gift etiquette. My boss is retiring in a month and I want to give him a memorable retirement present.

When someone retires, it's customary in my department to circulate an envelope with a card, where everyone writes their retirement wishes and adds a few dollars to contribute to a departmental gift for the person retiring.

I've noticed that employees don't contribute much when the envelope makes its rounds. I'd say their contributions average $3 per person, tops. I don't want to appear cheap to our boss presenting him with a departmental retirement gift of less than $200 (there is 60 people in the department).

I want to ask the staff to increase their contribution to $30 per person, so we can give my boss an $1800 gift.

I don't want to pressure the staff, so what is the right way to ask them for a larger contribution for my boss' retirement present?

name witheld

Imelda’s Answer

There is no right way to ask your staff to help you pay for a gift to your boss.

You don’t want to appear cheap to your boss, but you risk appearing cheap to your staff if you ask them to ask for a large contribution to your boss’ retirement gift.

Your heart is in the right place, you feel appreciative to your boss and you want to show it, but it’s up to you - not your staff - to foot the bill.

Some employees in your staff may feel very appreciative to your boss, and they will undoubtedly contribute more than $3. Others may hate your boss’ guts and may even be tempted to take money out of the envelope.

My advice is to circulate the envelope as usual, and just add (from your own pocket) whatever you feel your boss deserves as a departmental retirement gift.

Your boss and your staff will never know how much you added, and that’s what you want.


P.S. You may also consider getting your boss something inexpensive yet cool and personal. Perhaps that will be just as memorable as an expensive retirement gift.

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Oct 10, 2015
by: Anonymous

I really had a great time with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written!

Sep 30, 2015
presents new points of view
by: Serita Ertel

The material is unquestionably practicable! I bet the searcher is a pro in this subject. As against some articles I have ever found on the question, this one presents new points of view.

May 11, 2015
boss gift
by: Anonymous

Well i am working in custom paper writing service and don't know my boss real well but i have worked for him and his wife for the past 4 years.He call me today and asked me to come to a staff dinner to farewell them and he's paying for us all.So i thought i should give them a small retirement gift.Any ideas please???

Apr 07, 2015
Gift For Boss
by: Sarah Lisa

I think you can discuss this thing with your colleagues and ask them whats the best gift option for your boss. Some of them will be willing to get a joint gift for retiring boss. Asking for contribution directly is not a good idea. Thanks

Feb 27, 2015
by: channingck

You can give him a memento that contain his face craved in that. The memento must be made of wood. But you can give him anything simple like roses.

Jun 18, 2010
by: Two readers

The following replies came via email:

One reader writes:

"Imelda, I agree. This is good common sense. Nice reply. jp"

And another reader writes:

"Just keep it neutral, no so personal (no ties, grooming products, etc) May be dinner for two in a hot air balloon,"

Jun 10, 2010
Retirement Gift
by: Anonymous

A gift certificate for a Day Spa, Starbucks Coffee Card, 5 sessions at at Thai Massage, Mani-Pedi,
Tanning saloon, etc

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