The Ultimate Guide to Leaving Gifts for Employees and Colleagues

Published:12 Jul 2022

When someone leaves your company - whether it's through retirement, moving on to a new opportunity, or quitting - it's customary to give them a leaving gift. This gesture is often appreciated, and can help make the departure a little bit easier. But what do you give someone when they leave your team? And how do you go about giving it? We've got all the answers for you in this ultimate guide to leaving gifts!

Why Give a Leaving Gift?

When someone leaves your company, it's a big change - for them and for you. It can be tough to adjust to a new person taking their place, or to the workload being redistributed amongst the team. A leaving gift is a nice way to show your appreciation for all they've done, and to wish them well in their future endeavours. It's also a way to show your team that you're grateful for their hard work, and that you're thinking of them during this time of transition.

Should everyone contribute to a leaving gift?

There's no right or wrong answer to this question. If your team is small, it might make sense for everyone to chip in so that the gift is a bit more substantial. Or, if someone on your team is particularly close to the person who's leaving, they might want to contribute more. The costs can stack up - so in many cases the company has a budget for a leaving gift and employees can write in a card.

In a survey of 2,000 office workers across the UK it was found that the combined cost of Christmas parties and dinners, cards and presents, coffees and teas, sponsorship requests and secret Santa totalled more than £350 a year.

Over the course of a 40-year career, that would amount to about £14,500, according to Nationwide Current Account, which carried out the survey! (Source)

Ultimately, it's up to you and your team to decide how you want to handle it.

What Do Employees Want as a Leaving Gift?

This is probably the most common question when it comes to giving gifts - what do they want? The answer, of course, varies from person to person. But there are a few things you can keep in mind that will help make the decision a little bit easier and help you choose a leaving gift for an employee.

First, think about what the person is interested in. Is there a hobby they're passionate about? A sport they love to play? A type of food or drink they can't get enough of? If you can find a gift that speaks to their interests, it'll be that much more thoughtful and appreciated.

Next, consider what they might need or want in their new stage of life. If they're moving to a new city, a gift card to a local restaurant or attraction can be a great way to help them settle in. If they're starting a new job, maybe a nice notebook or planner will come in handy. Or, if they're retiring, a gift that can be used to travel or relax is always a nice option.

Lastly, think about what they might not be able to get themselves. If there's something you know they've had their eye on but haven't been able to justify buying, this might be the perfect opportunity to treat them. Or, if there's something you think they'd love but would never splurge on for themselves, that's another great option.

Employee Leaving Gift Ideas

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  • Desk accessories
  • Gift cards - try the onecode which can be swapped for 100's of store gift cards!
  • Beauty or spa treatments
  • A treat at a local venue close by
  • A meal out near your offices with the team
  • A hamper filled with memorable gifts related to their achievements
  • Cookies and cakes iced to commemorate them
  • An experience day - a gift card means they can redeem as they wish
  • A hamper filled with treats
  • A wine/ snack treat box
  • Wines - pick a set of 6 or 12
  • Champagne - pick a premium brand
  • A subscription
  • Tickets to a show or event
  • A basket of chocolate treats
  • A sweetie hamper
  • A fruit basket
  • Branded treats
  • Personalised mug
  • A travel cup
  • A beautiful pen
  • A new desk clock

How to Give a Leaving Gift

Once you've decided what to give, it's time to actually give the gift! If you're presenting it in person, be sure to do it at a time when everyone can be there. You don't want to give it too early, as it might make the person feel like they're being pushed out the door. But you also don't want to wait too long, or they might feel like you didn't care about them. The best time to give a leaving gift is usually on their last day of work, or at a going-away party if you're having one.

If you're giving a physical gift, you can present it to them in person. If you're giving something that's not as personal, like a gift basket or flowers, you can have it delivered to their office or home.

Leaving Gifts for Remote Employees

If you have employees who work remotely, you might be wondering how to give them a leaving gift. The best way to do this is to send it through the mail, or have it delivered by a colleague who's in their area. You can also give them a gift card that they can use online such as the onecode from Simply Thank You.

Leaving Gifts - What Is an Appropriate Amount to Spend?

This is another tough question, because it depends on your budget and the relationship you have with the person. In a study, most leaving gifts in the UK were valued at around £50, but this also comes down to tenure. Employee gifts should focus on the personal aspect. This is why cash is never given, it places a stark value on your employee and their worth! The great news is that employee gifts and leaving gifts can be wrapped and presented in a way that makes even small value items feel really special.

Leaving Gifts for Colleagues and What to Write in a Note

If you're giving a leaving gift to a colleague, it's always nice to include a handwritten note. In the note, you can express your appreciation for their work, and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. If you're close with the person, you can also include a personal memory or inside joke to make them smile.

  • "Thank you for all your hard work over the years. I'm really going to miss working with you, but I know you'll do great things in your new job. Good luck - I know you're going to be amazing!"

  • "Thank you for being a great employee. I know you'll be successful in whatever you do. I'm going to miss working with you, but I'm glad we'll still be friends."

  • "I'm going to miss your daily updates on the office gossip. But I know you're going to do great things out there in the real world. Stay in touch!"

Simply Thank You can help.

Leaving gifts don't have to be stressful - we can take care of everything for you, from finding the perfect gift to delivering it straight to your recipient's door. And with our onecode, you can choose from 100's of store gift cards, so they're sure to find something they love. Giving a leaving gift is so easy with us just a call away!

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