Gift-giving is a common occurrence in many offices and workplaces. Sometimes human resources is actively involved, perhaps arranging a gift for a work anniversary or birthday, but more often HR just watches as co-workers collect money to buy presents for each other.

It is a sweet and generous practice – collecting money to buy something for a co-worker, but also one that can go very, very wrong. Over the years I have heard some amazing horror stories from human resources managers.

In one situation a larger gentleman was leaving after several years of service and his co-workers had a little collection to raise money for a goodbye gift, which they all gathered around and presented to him. It was, they thought, a perfect gift: a gift card for a store where they knew he shopped. Over the years they had seen shopping bags from the store under his desk, and some people had even seen him entering or leaving the store.

The problem was that it was for a large men’s store. Yes, he shopped there, but apparently he had assumed that was his little secret because he was absolutely mortified when he opened the card in front of everyone.

At another office some co-workers collected money for a present to present to a young bride before she took some time off for her wedding and honeymoon. They bought a gift card for what they absolutely knew to be her favourite store – she had often mentioned her love for the store to co-workers. What could go wrong?

The problem is that her favorite store was Victoria’s secret, and the person who presented the gift was an older manager who was considered a little creepy. Good intentions, bad execution, and most everyone there felt really uncomfortable. (In fairness the creepy manager was believed to have enjoyed it immensely!).

In both these cases human resources was not involved because it was peer-to-peer giving, but in both cases they requested they be included in the gift selection process in the future. They wanted to make sure that nothing went wrong in the future – that feelings would not be hurt and that nobody would be offended.

And what do human resources managers know to be the best possible workplace gift? Flowers.

Flowers are an ideal gift in countless situations but they are absolutely perfect in the workplace. This is one of their best-kept secrets – flowers are the go-to gift of the best human resources managers.

Most cities will have a local association of human resources managers that meets once a month. If you ever get to attend one of those meetings (breakfasts are common) and ask about gifts you will always hear them talk about flowers.

Aside from being safe there is another practical advantage to flowers over many other gifts, especially gift cards. What is it?

A real local florist can make an arrangement for any price. Everything is built custom for whatever budget you have to work with. Did you ever try and find a $77 gift card? With flowers there is no problem – you just call a real local florist and ask them to make you something for $77.

Take advantage of what HR managers have learned the hard way: flowers are the perfect workplace gift and order from a real local florist.

Flowers: The Secret Weapon of the Best HR Professionals

Every one of our 200+ employees gets a present on their birthday. We’ve tried everything over the years including wine, gift cards etc.  We’ve found the one thing that everybody loves is getting flowers. Flowers really are the perfect business gift -it’s hard to offend anyone with flowers - and our florist works very hard to make it easy for us.

Human Resources Manager