With holiday gift-giving around the corner, what are employees and employers expected to do? Giving at the office can be like walking into the “Lions Den.”
Frequently asked questions: Do you give a gift to your Boss? Do you have to buy gifts for all your co-workers? How about the group gift, is that the cheap way out?
Let me give you my well researched answers:
Question: Do I have to give a gift to my boss?
You absolutely do not have to give a gift to your boss – unless you are my staff. All kidding aside… Bosses are not expecting to receive during the holiday. It seems very clear to me, that gift giving comes from the top. There is a relationship dynamic that is understood between boss and employee. There are numerous circumstances where giving to the boss could be misconstrued as bribery for positional opportunities, days off or looking the other way for one thing or another. You are safe if you chose not to be Santa for your boss.
Question: What if everyone else is pitching in for the boss, do I have to?
This is a personal decision. If you want to contribute – then do so. A group effort does not slate one individual over another in favoritism. You should not feel pressured. Here are some suggestions on the easy way out:
“I’m sorry, unfortunately, I just can’t participate this year.” Or “I’m sorry, my budget just won’t allow it this year.” And then there is the “NO WAY! FOR THE BOSS!!” the last one may be what you REALLY want to say, but that’s better kept on the inside.
Question: What about giving gifts to your co-workers?
It’s important to know if there is an office tradition and if yes, then find out exactly what it is. I always suggest a Secret Santa with a price limit. The price limit is discussed and determined by all that are participating. Communicate what is being purchased. One person may think snowblower – while the other is thinking box of chocolates. And, decide before hand what is to happen with left over funds.
Holidays can be financially exhausting to some and it is VERY possible that someone is struggling financially and you would never know. The season of giving can be about being thoughtful. Baked goods and homemade foods can go a LONG way in an office… show some of your hidden talents!
BE SAFE & HAVE A VERY MERRY HOLIDAY!