Deciding what to get for your Boss’s birthday is definitely a time when the statement “it’s the thought that counts” comes into play. What’s really going to make an impression with your boss is to think of something that she is interested in or has mentioned along the way and gift something along those lines. For example, if you know your boss rides horses, you can find a small horse or something related to horses that she can place on her desk to remind her of the passion she has for horses. It’s sure to bring a smile to her face and remember you in the process. Or perhaps she has mentioned a specific movie she wants to see or a favorite wine that she likes or would love to try. It shows that you have been listening and not just hearing “wa, wa, wa” when she speaks like in the classroom of a Charlie Brown episode.
If you want to go for a bigger ticket item for your Boss’s birthday, group gifts are a great idea and often even preferred by the boss rather than several individual gifts. Just think of the teacher at year end with 30 apples from her students instead of one awesome gift certificate to the spa that she can really enjoy. Your co-workers will be thankful too as you can often make a bigger impact with your gift and end up spending less individually. Again, be sure to consider your boss’s interests and hobbies when thinking of a group gift but some great ideas include a gift certificate, a desk accessory such as a Galileo thermometer or small plant, tickets to a show or movie or even some sweet treats or balloons to celebrate the occasion. If your boss likes the attention, you can make more of a spectacle of her birthday and have balloons or flowers delivered so the whole office can see them, making everyone super jealous in the process.
If you don’t really know your boss that well or are new to the team, keep it simple and generic or ask someone who does know her well.
Good luck with your gift buying! And whatever you do decide to get, do not forget to include a birthday card!
Disclaimer: My boss happens to be a woman which is why I referred to my boss as “she” in this post. But, I’d like to add for the record that male bosses are great too!