Our Director of Operations whom I have worked under for the pat 10 years is leaving the company. The circumstances of her leaving aren't exactly happy. Health issues arose in her family, her current position is being dissolved, and the promotion she was offered incurs too much commitment at this time.

I would like to get her something tactful, but, not something she has received before. I thought of a good book, but, ruled that out. I don't think she shares my tastes. She’s received them as gifts before and I really don't think that she reads them.

I know this is a very personal preference type question. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if there was some accepted norm or guidance.

Thanks in advance,
Christopher Benfield

IndianaRoger's picture

I have received a couple of gifts over the years but the items that have meant the most were personal notes. We all strive for importance and meaning in our life. Tell her how she has impacted your life, lessons learned, things that will be missed. Thank her for all she has done for you. If she is going through a hard time perhaps a word of encouragement. Just some thoughts. IndianaRoger

attmonk's picture

Well timed post, I have just got a new boss, my old one is "considering other positions within the company".

I was thinking about what to get but your suggestion of kind words is just what I was looking for. Thanks

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

A thank you note is a wonderful gesture. If you have the content, a collection of photos with those words could also be nice. There are a few historical moments I've had with my team that I cherish. Seeing some photos capturing them would let me know that those people cherished them as well.

Honesty and candor. You never go wrong there. Even a heartfelt handshake / hug with a sincere "I learned a lot from you. I enjoyed working with you. I'll miss you." can strike a chord.

ehyde111's picture

Yes, thanks. I think that you are both right. The photos, though, I particularly like. I'm going to have to go looking.

danstratton's picture

I like the idea of a note. I have also, in the past, given my boss a pen. In the way of disclaimer, though, I make the pen myself. Seems to be greatly appreciated in the several I have given over the last few years. It has really cemented a relationship with these managers, all of whom have remained friends and mentors. Something that you make yourself or take great care in picking out carries a lot of meaning.

Peter.westley's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

This is where knowing someone (say through regular 1:1s) can have real benefits: It's about knowing them well enough to understand what they'll really appreciate, even if it is small or simple or inexpensive.

Unless you've put the time into getting to know them well, this choice can be difficult!