For many workplaces, the office Kris Kringle is a tradition. But over the years, we’ve all become more aware of its darker side. There’s the gift that everyone thinks is hilarious – except the recipient. Or the obligatory kiss or cuddle with Santa. These things can linger long after the event and develop a life of their own.
So here are our tips for managing your office Kris Kringle and a few alternatives if you would like to do things differently this year.
Office Kris Kringle Dos
To ensure you have a successful Kris Kringle that doesn’t humiliate, sexualise or intimidate any staff member, introduce a policy with strict rules about what’s an appropriate Kris Kringle gift. For example:
- Set a dollar limit (minimum and maximum).
- Make sure the dollar limit is affordable for all staff – including juniors and casuals.
- Implement a policy explaining gifts that ridicule the recipient, are offensive or have sexual connotations, will not be tolerated.
Ensure the Kris Kringle policy is circulated amongst all staff (temporary and permanent) and provide a contact point if staff have any questions about any part of the policy. Then ensure everyone signs a form that states they have read and understood the policy. The completed form should be filed with each employee’s records – just in case it’s needed in the future.
If you’d like some help, please give the End2End team a call.
Office Kris Kringle Don’ts
The Kris Kringle don’ts may seem obvious, but they still happen. That’s why you need to include the above in a policy, but there’s more.
- Never require a staff member to sit on Santa’s knee, kiss or cuddle Santa. You might be ok with that but not every staff member will.
- Beware the good-bye kiss. Again, not everyone will feel comfortable.
- Remember, these rules apply to both male and female staff members.
Kris Kringle Alternatives
Believe it or not, there are loads of Kris Kringle alternatives that can help to save the planet, do good and/or motivate staff beyond Christmas. Here are a few suggestions to inspire you:
- In a world where we are increasingly aware of minimising landfill and other environmental issues, the traditional office Kris Kringle can be seen as senseless consumerism. So ask your staff, perhaps run a survey, and see if they would like to drop it this year.
- Help others by asking staff if they would like to pool their usual Kris Kringle spend to donate to a charity the whole business (or department) would like to support.
- For some staff, the obligatory Kris Kringle gift is yet another expense for their over-stretched budget. So rather than asking staff to dip into their own pockets, why not show your appreciation by giving each staff member a gift. Gift cards for department stores, shopping centres and supermarkets are always useful. Movie vouchers provide entertainment while they are on leave. Hampers are also a great option – providing they contain items the recipient will enjoy.
- Another way to show appreciation and build team culture is to provide each staff member with a blank Christmas card and ask them to write a note of appreciation to another staff member. Draw names out of the hat – just like a Kris Kringle gift. Make it clear, the message must be positive and comment on something the recipient does well. If you purchase the Christmas cards from a charity, you will also be supporting a worthy cause.
Being Careful At Christmas Doesn’t Make You A Grinch
Christmas is a great time to help consolidate team culture and show your appreciation to staff. But it does come with some risks you need to avoid.
For information on how to avoid problems at the work Christmas party, read our blog titled Let’s Idiot-Proof The world, One Christmas Party At A Time!
For help with policies or advice on how to have problem-free staff Christmas celebrations, contact the team at End2End Business Solutions on 02 8977 4002. We’re here to help you.