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Secret Santa – love it or loathe it?

In offices and work places across the UK employees are thinking about Secret Santa gifts. It can be a great way to spread a little Christmas cheer and doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be a source of conflict. What happens if a gift is offensive or not appropriate or if an employee doesn’t want to participate? That might cause resentment in the office and you could be faced with trying to diffuse a difficult situation just before Christmas, particularly when you don’t need any more stress! In extreme circumstances it could even lead to a grievance being raised.

Even though there is the potential for problems, most people are still happy to participate and enjoy it so if you are planning Secret Santa in the office it is definitely worth communicating some guidelines beforehand.

Here are our top tips for Secret Santa giving:

  • Make sure employees know it is optional but also make sure that everyone is invited to participate.
  • Set a maximum amount for gifts.
  • Ensure everyone respects beliefs, religion and understands that not everyone has the same sense of humour. A gift could be taken as offensive even if it wasn’t intended to be.
  • Think about your gift choice, if you question whether or not it is appropriate then it probably is better to choose something else.

There are lots of small, funny or thoughtful gifts out there that people will appreciate; chocolate is always a winner in my book!  Help make your HR team happy this Christmas by staying away from underwear, rude gifts and items related to personal hygiene.

Happy Christmas!

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