Ah, the holidays… tis’ the season of giving, the season of neighborly love, and for Human Resources Professionals, the season of holiday-related HR nightmares. So we thought we’d share our tips to keep everyone OFF the office “naughty” list this year.
Respect Your Fellow Coworkers
First things first, it comes down to R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Part of what makes our country so great is the confluence of cultures – be respectful of each other’s holiday traditions and beliefs, religious or non.
Consider Your Gifts
Just as we want to be respectful of others traditions and beliefs, be respectful of those who don’t want to participate in the department gift exchange. Don’t make the gift exchange mandatory. If someone doesn’t want to participate, that’s OK.
But it’s also just as OK if gift-giving is your jam! Just be sure to not exceed the price limit. It’s common practice to draw names or host white elephant exchanges at the office. We frown upon exceeding the price limit on these exchanges – it makes those who didn’t stick to the limit and those who got the cheaper gift feel bad.
Also, don’t be that person who gives ridiculously large, expensive presents to the Boss. Over-gifting not only irritates your peers, it ultimately puts you in an unfavorable light as a sycophant. (And no one wants that, right?)
Are you and your "work bestie" planning to exchange gifts? It’s natural to want to exchange gifts with them, but be sure to do so outside of work or in private - perhaps at lunch - so that your fellow coworkers don’t feel excluded.
Keep it Classy
Heading to the office holiday party? Keep your holiday attire classy. Keep it covered. And, keep it current. If you wouldn't feel comfortable donning your festive apparel to an interview - we don't advise wearing it to the office Christmas party.
Keep the Alcohol to a Minimum
Thinking about toasting to the holidays? If you're hosting an office holiday party, we recommend thinking twice before breaking out the booze. Alcohol related HR woes tend to "spike" around the holidays.
Don’t Forget What the Holidays are all About
Taking time off for the holidays? Make the most of it, and unplug yourself as much as possible from the office, meaning; stay away from email and voicemail, so that you can be present with the ones you love. Remember, your presence is the greatest gift you can give them!
Shannon B. Hernandez, Contributor
San Antonio native, story teller, fashion lover, freelance writer & photographer, communications and wellness expert, work from home Mom - Co-Founder and Principal Consultant at Cardigan Consulting.