Entered by: Heidi Rush @ 19:55:42 on 15/12/09
Here at HR Smart, we wish each and every one of you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2010.
However, before we leave 2009 behind and enter full steam ahead into the party season, as an employer you may want to heed our words of warning.
At this time of year, many companies endeavour to spread the Christmas cheer by undertaking Secret Santa. The theory is simply that each employee selects a colleague, in secret, to buy a small, often “jokey”, Christmas gift of small monetary value, which is then given during the Christmas lunch or evening party.
So, what words of doom can the ghosts of HR managers past tell us…
Research has shown that whilst most employees take Secret Santa in the good humour and the spirit it is intended, one in ten employees report they feel that the gift they received was highly inappropriate.
Christmas gift blunders, which you should urge your employees to avoid, are:
· Any gifts with sexual connotations such as chocolate body parts, paints and calendars;
· Deodorants and body sprays;
· Previously unwanted and recycled gifts;
· Alcohol, if against religious believes;
· Self help and “how to books”;
· Political and religious jokes;
· Diet vouchers, and
· Hair trimmers for ears and noses
You may also need to consider the financial implications of undertaking Secret Santa this year, as even just small amounts can add additional pressures to some at an already difficult time.
Whilst we are not condoning and suggesting that you stop Secret Santa, we do recommend the following so to avoid a grievance hearing on your first working day of 2010.
· Give guidelines to your employees to follow;
· Express that it is voluntary to take part;
· Mutually agree the financial limit;
· Give consideration to the feelings of others;
· Promote originality, and
· Urge caution that if you would not want to receive the gift then there’s a fair chance neither will any other employee.
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