Tis the season to be jolly... and with the holidays comes the inevitable stress of gift-giving for employees and employers alike. Scores of helpful articles share the best gifts for a boss to give their employees or co-workers to give each other. The "dos- and don'ts" of gift-giving are shared to help ensure holiday gift swaps are happen with minimal awkwardness in the office. And although 25% of employees give gifts to their boss, Time Money suggests maybe that's not the greatest of ideas.
While all good, sound advice to follow and we'll certainly be checking out a few of these gifts for our team as well, we can't escape the feeling that come January 1st, whatever feel good gift will have been used, put away or (dare we say it?) forgotten. What gift can we give our workforces that will last, that will have a positive impact on the cultures we so carefully create all year?
The most obvious answer is to connect holiday giving to community giving. There are several ways to do this. If you don't currently have an internal team that helps coordinate giving activities across your organization, starting one can be a great gift for your entire company. Your "giving team" can help plan and orchestrate the ways your teams, department and entire company can help each other and the communities you serve. The overwhelming number of options is often the biggest barrier to connecting your employees to the benefits of volunteerism. Creating a central repository for employees to learn about options available to them to give back is a gift that never stops giving back.
Even when you have a giving team in place, there are so many ways you can 'give back' to the communities that drive your business. It can be overwhelming to choose one. Consider starting out with a "Donation Drive." Contact local charities that share values with your organization, that matter to your people, and see what kind of donations they accept. For my company, we believe the nourishment of young minds will help ensure we have the creative, technical and skilled talent we need to move forward as a Nation, so we raise funds and participate in the Social Council for No Kid Hungry. Other organizations focus within through relief-based support for employees-in-need and without with physical volunteering for teams. Again, your Giving Team can help take the pulse of your company to see what will be the most beneficial for your organization.