Holiday Gift-Giving Guide: Office Edition

Survey: Canadian Managers Feel Workplace Holiday Presents Are Appropriate, Reveal Inappropriate Examples

Toronto, ON – To gift or not to gift at work? That is the question many employees ask during the holiday season. In a recent survey from staffing firm Accountemps, the majority of Canadian human resources (HR) managers said it is acceptable for employees and managers to exchange presents in the office. Sixty-two per cent of respondents cited it’s appropriate for supervisors to give their staff a holiday gift, and 64 per cent said it’s appropriate for workers to give their boss a gift.

HR managers cited an average of $25 for what both employees and managers should spend on gifts.

The survey also revealed what not to do. Managers reported on the most inappropriate gifts they’ve seen, including:

  • “A diamond ring”
  • “Illicit substances”
  • “A bag of items to help with bad body odour”
  • “Liquour”
  • “A mug with a dirty joke on it”
  • “Money”
  • “A PlayStation 4”

“While gifts can be a great way to show appreciation for employees and colleagues, the decision to give will vary based on individual relationships and different workplace traditions,” said Dianne Hunnam-Jones, Canadian president of Accountemps. “Use your judgment when it comes to appropriateness and remember that meaningful gifts are the most memorable, so think more about the sentiment than the price.”

HR managers were asked, “How appropriate is it for managers to give their employees a holiday gift?” Their responses:

Very appropriate – it’s a must

 6%

Somewhat appropriate – it depends on the work relationship

56%

Somewhat inappropriate – it can seem like you are currying favour

25%

Very inappropriate – it shouldn’t be done

8%

Don’t know

6%

 

101%*

*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

HR managers also were asked, “How appropriate is it for employees to give their manager a holiday gift?” Their responses:

Very appropriate – it’s a must

7%

Somewhat appropriate – it depends on the work relationship

57%

Somewhat inappropriate – it can seem like you are currying favour

24%

Very inappropriate – it shouldn’t be done

8%

Don’t know

4%

 

100%

HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING IN THE OFFICE

How appropriate is it for managers to give their employees a holiday gift?

56% Somewhat appropriate – it depends on the work relationship
25% Somewhat inappropriate – it can seem like you are playing favourites
8% Very inappropriate – it shouldn’t be done
6% Very appropriate – it’s a must
6% Don't know

Average amount managers should spend*: $25

How appropriate is it for employees to give their manager a holiday gift?

57% Somewhat appropriate – it depends on the work relationship
24% Somewhat inappropriate – it can seem like you are currying favour
8% Very inappropriate – it shouldn’t be done
7% Very appropriate – it’s a must
4% Don't know

Average amount managers should spend*: $25

Source: Accountemps survey of more than 300 Canadian human resources managers.

Responses may not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

*The mean amount acceptable to spend

© 2016 Accountemps. A Robert Half Company.

Follow us at @RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter for additional workplace news and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]

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