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Secret Santa – love it or loathe it?

In offices and workplaces 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.

Picture the scene, you have organised a Secret Santa, followed all of our advice below and Peter from accounts opens his gift, a tin of deodorant!  He is turning bright red and everyone else in the room is embarrassed.

Peter could raise a grievance! This is not unheard of by any means. In the lead up to Christmas on top of everything else you have to deal with, you are then faced with carrying out investigations and chairing a grievance hearing.

Most businesses are happy to participate and enjoy a Secret Santa regardless so it’s paramount to communicate some guidelines beforehand.

Here are our top tips for Secret Santa gift 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.
  • Ask participants to think about their gift choice, if they 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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