When Is It Appropriate for Business Leaders to Send Flowers?

Ecuador Floral 2Sending a gift to business associates or customers is a time-honored tradition for many companies. Some will send a handful of gifts out; others, such as the Nirvana Café and Grill, send out no less than 1,000 gift boxes full of cookies, reports the New York Times. Sending flowers and gifts can help with customer retention and keep feelings positive, but it needs to be done with a light touch. When and how should you send flowers to employees, clients or partners?

When You Gain Someone’s Business

Sending flowers or another professional gift after a successful deal lets clients know you appreciate their business. Whether a new client or loyal customer, show appreciation for the time and resources they invested into your business. If there are one or two specific people you deal with regularly, personalized gifts are a great way to show ingenuity and appreciation. For large or general department gifts, send a gift basket or something else everyone can enjoy.

At Major Milestones

At a waypoint in a person’s career, pausing to reflect and celebrate does a lot of good for yourself, the employee and the company. A 20th anniversary, a successful publication or a major deal closed should be celebrated, since morale factors into productivity: Gallup reports that office negativity costs over a quarter of a trillion dollars per year.

You can creatively use flowers or gifts to mark milestones; consider a carnation for each year worked, or a different-colored chocolate-covered strawberry package for each team member who worked on a major project. Remember that the positive attention a person receives counts for more than a simple gift ever could.

Thanking Business Associates

No business exists and survives in a vacuum. Each one needs customers to remain profitable and productive, but each one also needs capital investors, suppliers, transportation, technicians, security, cleaning staff and other partnerships to thrive. Just like you want to send holiday cards to friends and family in order to remain in their thoughts, so too do you want to make sure that your company’s associates and partners consider your operations to be of mutual benefit.

Whenever you send gifts to an entity rather than an individual, be sure to make gender-neutral choices. Remember also that alcohol gift baskets, like wine and cheese pairings, may not be as well received in a business setting as flowers would.

Sympathy Arrangements

Unfortunately, not all flower gifts represent a happy moment. In the event of tragedy, a business owner should promptly choose a flower arrangement that expresses everyone’s condolences. Use a sympathy arrangement and card to remind grieving employees that their workload will be taken care of in their absence. This way they can focus on the matter at hand among loved ones without the stress of their day-to-day job.

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