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Entries in Christmas (2)

Wednesday
Dec172014

GIFT-GIVING GUIDE FOR YOUR CO-WORKERS

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Tis the season! With the holidays upon us, it’s the time of year when office parties and gift giving abound. It can be stressful trying to decide how to approach gift giving with your co-workers, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six simple tips to ensure the celebrations stay merry.

1. If you decide to give gifts, know you’re doing it voluntarily.

Your decision to give gifts to your fellow co-workers is 100% a voluntary decision. Most people do like to celebrate the holidays, but you may come across someone who doesn’t want to participate in gift exchanges. It could be for a number of reasons. Maybe their budget is tight and they can’t afford it. So, don’t get upset if everyone you give a gift to doesn’t give you one back. Instead, embrace the idea of giving without expecting anything in return.

2. If you plan to give one co-worker a gift, you may have to give them all a gift. 

The simple rule to remember here is that no one likes to be left out. If you give a gift to one co-worker and not another, that person may feel excluded. And you don’t want that to happen. Inclusion is the name of the game. Also, if one of your best friends works with you and you’ve bought that person a more elaborate gift than everyone else, wait until after work hours to give the gift so you can keep all workplace gifts fair.

3. Use kind words. 

Sometimes it means more to a person to hear kind words than receive a gift. Consider giving a holiday card to each of your co-workers with a message about why you enjoy working with them or that you hope they have a great holiday season and you wish them a great new year. Remember to keep it professional and sincere.

4. Avoid giving cash and keep gift spending to a minimum. 

Sure, sometimes it’s nice when your family gives you money for the holidays, because it allows you to purchase what you really want. But, when it comes to work, choose to give a gift instead. It’s more thoughtful and shows heart. And speaking of thoughtful, you don’t have to spend a lavish amount on co-worker gifts. In a 2013 holiday survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 78% of respondents said they expected to spend $25 or less on a gift, 36% said $10 or less, and 10% said $5 or less. For example, does everyone on your team like Starbucks? If so, consider a gift card with a nice message for them.

5. Suggest a department-wide secret Santa gift exchange. 

Why not suggest drawing names and buying a gift for that co-worker? If your department leader will allow, everyone could gather together for lunch or snacks at the end of the day and exchange gifts. This will ensure that everyone gets a gift (at least those who want to participate), and you don’t overspend on the celebration.

Many departments also play dirty Santa, a game where participants bring a wrapped gift and then on each person’s turn they can either choose an unopened gift or steal an opened gift from a co-worker. If your gift gets stolen, you can steal from someone else or pick a new, unopened gift. Just remember with any gift exchange, you are still in a professional environment. Avoid gag gifts or anything inappropriate.

6. Approach a gift for the boss with caution. 

The holidays are not an avenue for you to earn brownie points with management. If you’re considering buying a gift for your boss, it’s best to ask your co-workers if they would like to contribute. Make it a gift from your department rather than just you. While you may have a gift idea in mind and want to volunteer to get it, just remember the importance of including all of your co-workers.

The holidays should be a fun time full of cheer. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt about your company’s gift-exchange policy, always consult your manager first. Happy gifting!

How do you show appreciation to your co-workers this time of year? Let us know in the comments section below!

Friday
Dec122014

Holiday Bonuses: A Poll of What Employees Want – and What Employers Give

Forget the Party and the Gift Cards, Cash Tops the Wish List

Express recently released the results of two polls on holiday bonuses revealing that what employees want and what employers are willing to give are often different things.

In an online poll, employees and job seekers were asked, “How do you wish your company showed appreciation to employees?” Twenty-seven percent said “cash bonus,” and 13% said “pay raises.”

Express received responses from 230 individuals who identify as “job seekers and those new to the career world.”

How Do You Wish Your Company Showed Appreciation to Employees?

  • Cash Bonus – 27%
  • Pay Raises – 13%
  • Days Off or Shortened Holiday Hours – 9%
  • Gift Cards – 5%
  • Gift Items Other Than Money – 1%
  • A Holiday Party – 1%
  • Other – 1%
  • A Combination of the Above – 35%

In a separate online poll, business leaders were similarly asked, “What type of holiday bonus will you give your employees this year?” Express received 400 responses. Most said cash, but 21% said, “We will not give holiday bonuses.” In addition, of the seven percent who chose “other,” 27% self-reported answers like “no holiday bonuses ever.”

What Type Of Holiday Bonus Will You Give Your Employees This Year?

  • Cash – 34%
  • We Will Not Give Holiday Bonuses – 21%
  • Gift Cards – 12%
  • Other – 7%
  • Extra Days Off – 3%
  • Tangible Gifts – 3%
  • A Combination of the Above – 19%

Cash is the top choice among employers, meaning some employees will be satisfied this holiday season. But many more will not, particularly those working for an employer who offers no form of a bonus. Gift cards, popular among employers, are not as popular among employees.

“During the holiday season, it’s important for businesses to show their appreciation to their employees. It can be disheartening for an employee to feel unappreciated, yet our poll indicates that more than a fifth of employers won’t give their workers anything this holiday season. You don’t have to be extravagant about your holiday bonuses, but it’s important to show recognition. As one respondent told us, ‘A thank you note will suffice,’” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express.

“Showing appreciation is investing in your employees. It improves morale and increases loyalty. It’s good for business. So even if you’re a business that’s struggling through difficult economic times, be sure to say thank you. Even the simplest gesture can go a long way and make the holiday season that much brighter for the people who make your business possible.”

How do you plan to show appreciation to your employees this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below.