At Christmas time many employers dread the thought of trying to appear generous with their staff gifts, and wondering what to give. Then there is the fear of what to give according to the respective hierarchy of staff and managers, who gets what and will they be offended ?

It happens every year and each time less time is spent on planning it all until it becomes the dreaded job that nobody wants to do. Subsequently the act of giving and the unease that is felt behind it all is reflected in the staff not appreciating the process anyway. Indeed more damage can be done by giving a cheap and nasty gift, than by not giving any at all.

The solution is to start from the right mindset. Have an act of genuine appreciation for your staff at the outset and forefront of it all. Begin the planning of it 6 months ahead, and tease out some constructive answers from the staff early about what they may enjoy receiving, or if the concept could be adapted better to perhaps have an outing or party instead.