This time of year dozens of people give and receive holiday gifts. Whether you’re a vendor, a client, a co-worker or a boss, chances are, you will be on the giving and receiving end of holiday gifts. Whether your office is overflowing with tissue paper, or your cubicle dons just a simple gift or two, it’s important for everyone to review this advice:
• Who gets a gift at the office?
Traditionally, an employer may thank his or her employees for their dedication with a holiday “bonus.” Today, budget cuts and a struggling economy have had an impact on the types of gifts many employers give out during the holidays. Some companies now offer alternatives such as a day off, a gift certificate to a restaurant or a holiday turkey or ham.
Employees shouldn’t feel obligated to give their boss an elaborate gift. Ask around to see if there will be an office “pool” where everyone who is interested pitches in a small amount of money and a designated person buys an “office” gift for the boss. Or, as an alternative, bring a box of your famous fudge for the boss, and another box for the entire office to enjoy.
Colleagues can draw names, select and donate to a charity, or skip the gift giving process all together.
• Is a gift card a suitable holiday gift for the office?
Of course. Gift cards make a great gift. Be sure to wrap it in something creative. For example, if you purchase a gift card to a local coffee shop, wrap it in a mug with a coffee scoop.
• I want to give a gift to a few close colleagues, but not the entire staff. What should I do?
Exchange gifts away from the office to ensure that other people’s feelings will not be bruised. Go to lunch or meet for a quick drink after work for a cup of holiday cheer, exchanging gifts at a separate location so no one will feel left out.
• Do I have to give a holiday gift to my boss or co-workers?
Although workplace gift-giving should not be considered mandatory, many people and businesses do exchange gifts, especially during the holidays. Gifts, however, should not be given with the intention of hoping to establish a new relationship, so don’t try to win your boss’ favor or make up for poor performance with a spectacular holiday gift.
The greatest gift that you can give to your employers and co-workers is to be an exemplary employee year-round. It is the day-to-day way in which you do your job and treat people around you that matters most to your employer.