Office Gift Giving
Updated: Oct 16, 2019
I was reading an article in the Denver Post on Sunday about how to save money during the holidays and the two ideas the jumped out to me were eliminating extended family gift exchanges and office gifting. The article mentioned low-cost secret Santa’s as ok but from my point-of-view sending a gift to your boss is still one of the smartest gifts you can buy. Nothing is worse than a secret Santa where you end up giving your boss some cheap gift. I remember when this happened with one of my employees who was not in my favor who knew immediately that the blow up neck pillow was not up to snuff.
When I ran my agency, I always purchased lovely gift baskets for my clients who were generally in the tech industry and always needed feeding as they often didn’t get out of the office for lunch. Some agencies would do some cutesy creative item but as you never knew how that might be received, I went for the safe bet. I also made certain to always know my client’s or boss’s favorite wine, hard liquor and flowers. I learned that after I was assigned to get the client’s gift the first Christmas I worked. I’m certain my boss thought I would have a good idea, but I was clueless and ended up getting a big brass container to put a plant in (without a plant). The thank you note from the client mentioned how nice it was to “never have to worry about having a pot to piss in.” :o
One last point on gift giving relates to employers. The holidays are an important time to remember your employees. When I worked for employers in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, companies always gave very nice holiday parties (I remember the year that Oracle rented out the Fairmont, Mark Hopkins and Stanford Court on Nob Hill in San Francisco and had live bands and food in every ballroom) and a bonus. Now employees rarely get anything. That’s just wrong. Employers need to reinstate best practices in thanking overworked, underpaid, non-executive management employees. Today’s employees who live on minimum wage cannot afford rent in any major city in the U.S. because all the revenue is staying at the top of the company. It’s long past time that companies thank their employees with a livable wage and a benefits including a good healthcare plan. And a nice holiday party with an end-of-year bonus is the least a company can do.