12 of the strangest holiday gifts employees have ever received from a coworker
According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, conducted online by Harris Poll among 3,602 full-time workers and 2,326 hiring managers, about a fifth (21%) of employees say they plan to buy holiday gifts for coworkers and 20% plan to buy a gift for their boss."Holidays can be joyful, even in the workplace. But they can also trigger some confusion when it comes to gifting," says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job." "It's helpful to think through an appropriate gift giving strategy for the office to avoid feeling awkward or embarrassed."
Before we get to examples of gifts you should never give, here are a few things you should consider while shopping for your coworkers:1. Is gift-giving even appropriate or allowed in your office?
If there are no official policies in place, use your best judgment to decide the best approach, Taylor says. And be sensitive to your office culture.2. Why am I buying this gift?Don't feel compelled to go overboard to "win over" anyone or favors, especially the boss. "If you run out and get the latest iPad for your manager, it might be transparent that you are kissing up," she says.
3. Is this thoughtful?
Try to think of what your team members might appreciate; everyone has their own interests, and a thoughtful gift is most valued, says Taylor. "Avoid running to the supermarket or pharmacy for something last minute and becoming desperate."4. Is this appropriate?
"When in doubt, leave it out," is a good policy for gifts that seem questionable, she adds. "If you think it might be inappropriate or too personal, assume that the recipient will."
Avoid gag gifts and anything that has religious, sexual, or political overtones.5. Does this gift have wide appeal?
6. How can I best show my appreciation?This is a good opportunity to thank those with whom you work. It's good etiquette to offer a brief message of thanks to your team along with the present, Taylor explains. "At the very least, give your gift with a holiday-related message," she suggests.
7. Am I being fair - or playing favorites?You don't necessarily have to give everyone the same thing - but put the same amount of thought (and money) into each gift. Don't give Sally a $100 bottle of wine, and Jane a $5 pen. It will send a bad message. "People do pay attention to this," says Taylor.
Now, to give you an even clearer picture of what you should not give, here are 12 gifts real employees received from someone in the office during the holiday season, according to a CareerBuilder survey:
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