‘Tis the Season: Boycott Office Gift Giving

Although workplace gift-giving should not be considered mandatory, many people and businesses do exchange gifts, especially during the holidays.  There’s the “Secret Santa”, the gag gifts, the nut jars and enough chocolate to scare Willy Wonka to death.  Let’s not forget, company logo stuff that no one really cares about and re-gifting gift cards from places you never frequent.  Be honest.  

 Honestly?  People have limited resources (time and money) and a long shopping list of well deserving family members and friends.  So this year I’m taking a stand and asking, is it necessary that we have to add our bosses and co-workers to the list?  Really? 

 Now before I get a bunch of Grinch comments, I’m talking about the “token” gifts.  The gifts we give because somehow we think it is proper etiquette or we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, especially our boss.

Is spending that $10-$20 somehow going to win favors, save or keep relationships, get you that promotion or get you off someone’s list?  Not in today’s economy.

Rather I say 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.   

You want to give a gift that really matters the most to your employer, co-workers or customers?

  • Celebrate individuals – Honor their birthday, tell them when they do a good job, take ‘em out to lunch.  Take the time to have a face to face conversation and practice active listening.  Have some empathy.  How’s that for time and energy?
  • Earn your paycheck – Pull your weight, meet your deadlines, be a team player, ask how you can help and try to make a difference for the company, your coworkers and yourself.
  • Keep your attitude in check -Don’t be a whiner, gossip or be negative.  Stop acting like the company owes you or it’s all about You.  It’s not.  How about be grateful for your job and benefits?  Be a positive role model.

Join me in dumping office gift giving.  Let’s give the gifts of kindness, hard work, honesty and loyalty all year-round.   

And that extra money and time you have in December as a result?  Donate my office gift to a needy family.  Kids need coats, families need food.  Check out your local United Way’s Holiday Wish List recipients for starters.

P.S.  Right on cue, yet ANOTHER nut jar has been delivered to my office.  Sigh…

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