Top 9 Laughably Awful Corporate Gifts Employees Actually Received

Top 9 Laughably Awful Corporate Gifts Employees Actually Received

Have you ever received a corporate gift so awful that it’s almost funny? Companies send business gifts to their customers, employees, and business partners to express their appreciation for helping grow the business. However, some presents only end up disappointing or, worse, offending their employees.

Take a look at these nine bad corporate gift examples employees received from their company:

01 Under Five

Always be aware of what corporate gift you give to your employees. They can easily see if your business gifts are cheap and sincere.

When John Picciotto was working at a national jewellery store early in his career, he and his team broke records in opened accounts and resulting sales. As Christmas approached, senior management arranged a luncheon as an expression of thanks and awarded each team member with a watch. However, the reward would have been sweet if it wasn’t the company’s private-label watch that cost under $5 to make. 

02 Wildly Inappropriate

Personal care items are one of the best bad corporate gift examples of what not to give in the workplace. Unfortunately, not everyone has got that memo.

One user tells about a time when she received a beautifully wrapped pack of sanitary napkins as a gift from her boss. To the shock of every female employee in the department, all of them also received a similar present. To add insult to injury, their male boss who gave them the gifts came over as they were opening their presents. He then commented that he hoped that he got their preferred brands correct. Talk about inappropriate.

03 Ludicrous Logistics

Food is a usually-safe choice as business gifts to give to employees, especially during the holidays. However, one must consider the logistics when giving away food.

One user recounts the time when the management of their company brought a caterer in with 50 or so frozen turkeys for all of the company’s employees a few days before Thanksgiving Day. Of course, there was not enough space in the break room refrigerator for 50 frozen turkeys. The employee and her co-workers weren’t even allowed to go home to drop off their frozen turkeys. We can only imagine what happened to those turkeys at the end of their shift.

04 Folly of Faith

In general, religious items are bad corporate gift examples you should avoid. Not everyone in the office may share the same faith as you. You might come off as inappropriate and preachy.

TV network CBS reported the story of a woman who had a very religious boss. The boss would give their employees books with titles like “Answers to All the Big Questions in Life” or “Why Other Religions Are Wrong”. This inappropriate gift made several people very uncomfortable.

05 Bad Gifts All the Way

Some companies, unfortunately, don’t take corporate gift-giving seriously. Bad gifts are a reflection of how much your company values you and your contributions to the business.

One employee used to work at a company who had a track record of giving cheap, depressing gifts. Some of the gifts they received in their 33 years at the company include orange and purple cloth, three empty boxes, a pack of Kleenex, a votive candle, and a hand lotion.  

06 Nothing But Beans

Is it better to receive a lousy gift or nothing at all? Some businesses don’t offer any giveaways to their employees. If they do, they end up being bad gifts.

One user tells about the time when four of their managers decided to give a small bag of beans, seasoning, and a bean soup recipe as a holiday treat for the employees. While the workers were initially upset about the gifts, they often remember it fondly after years of not receiving anything since.

07 X-Rated

Adult items or anything sexual in nature is one of the worst bad corporate gift examples for the workplace, even if intended as a joke.

An employee’s supervisor once gave them an x-rated shot glass. There wasn’t anything printed on the drinkware, but the actual glass itself formed the shape of a naughty body part.

08 Picture This

Make an effort to get something pleasing for your employees, even if you are trying to be thrifty.

Back when Pete Abilla worked for an online retailer in Fernley, Nevada, they held a company party for upper management. When he and his colleagues opened their corporate gifts, they found a thin picture book about Fernley, Nevada. It was strange, considering nothing was fascinating about the area, save for the warehouses for their company, Silverado, and Chevron. However, their bad gifts were not at all surprising to them, considering their fourth corporate value was frugality.

09 Hidden Messages 

Toiletries are bad corporate gift examples as they give off a veiled message that can be offensive to some.

An anonymous user tells about the time when their boss gave everyone in the entire agency toothbrushes during the Christmas season. The bad gifts gave them the impression that they had terrible hygiene. Later on, their boss explained that he wanted to give a present that they wouldn’t buy for themselves.

When giving away corporate gifts to your employees, always remember that your giveaways are a show of how much you appreciate them and their hard work. Present your employees with awesome business gifts to raise morale and to make them feel special and appreciated.