Cash’s King in Office Holiday Giving; Some Gifts You Need Avoid at All Costs
If you are new to your job this time of year and working remotely, one of the questions you might have is what to do about holiday gifts. Do you give them? Who do you give them too? What do you give? What is your boss going to give you?
Mostly, your biggest fear is avoiding the landmine of giving the wrong gift or not giving one if you are supposed to. This can be extremely stressful if you have been out of the workforce focusing on dealing with your disability.
“Everyone loves to get gifts,” said Alan Hubbard, LandAjob Chief Operating Officer. “You just need to be careful and don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. Companies do have gift polices in their handbooks, which can be a guideline.” A nonprofit organization, NTI helps Americans with disabilities find at-home jobs, working for Fortune 500, government organizations, large and small businesses. You can register for free job training and job placement services at www.ntiathome.org.
During this time of year, companies announce their office holiday plans, and this is probably a good time to ask about the gift-giving policy.
"If you are new to the company and are not sure if gifts are exchanged, my best advice would be to just ask around," said Shawnice Meador, director of career and leadership services for working professionals at MBA@UNC, in a Business Insider article. "If gifts are the norm, it will usually be openly discussed around the office, which can help you get more details about types of gifts and dollar amount. If gift-giving guidelines aren't as clear in your office, you can never go wrong with giving your boss or coworkers a card or treat to wish them happy holidays."
If you don’t want to participate in the holiday giving, you shouldn’t feel like you should have to. Your fellow employees or employer need to avoid pressuring you to take part.
If the employees are giving gifts, there should be a limit on the amount, so people aren’t over or underspending.
“That helps people stay in the same range,” said Hubbard. “It can be uncomfortable if you are spending too much or too little. This is a festive time of the year and you don’t want people to feel bad.”
You want to stay away from humorous gifts because those tend to be too personal and you run the threat of people finding them insulting and offensive. Other problematic gifts are clothing, red roses, alcohol, or tobacco products, according to the Business Insider article.
"A gift such as a nice coffee mug or a delicious holiday treat can be a thoughtful and simple way to show appreciation during the holiday season," said Meador. If you are cooking, make sure you list what is in the recipe to prevent any problems from allergies.
One solution to the problem is when the office gets together for a money gift for their boss.
“Being involved with a group gift for your boss will mean less stress for not only yourself but for everyone else in the office who may be worrying about what to get," said Meador.
Don’t worry if you are feeling stressed about this. It could be twice as bad for your employer. There are countless stories about bosses giving bad gifts, like old stale cookies, expired cheese, or company label hand warmers or jelly of the month club coupons.
The corporate gifting platform Snappy did a survey of more than 1,000 United States workers. They found 84 percent of the workers received a gift they didn’t want and nearly 90 percent faked a positive reaction to a bad one. Four out of five employees said they would appreciate getting a gift.
Fortunately, Kevin O’Leary, a “Shark Tank” star, has a way to bail the bosses out.
“My favorite gift in the holidays is an envelope full of cash. Everybody loves that. They really do,” said O’Leary on CNBC Make It. “I’ve never given a wad of cash to an employee or a friend or a family member that wasn’t met with a big smile. Cash with a rose on the envelope? Ooh-la-la!”
(NTI helps Americans with disabilities find at-home jobs with free job training and placement services. You can register for free at www.ntiathome.org.)
“Everyone loves to get gifts. You just need to be careful and don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. Companies do have gift policies in their handbooks, which can be a guideline...”