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Want To Know If Your Passion For Work Equates To Being A Workaholic?

April 2nd, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Career | Employee Productivity | Employee Self Service | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Want To Know If Your Passion For Work Equates To Being A Workaholic?)

Some of us really love our jobs to the point of being passionate about it and that’s ok. However, it’s when our job becomes an obsession and everything else in our lives becomes secondary to it, that’s when you know, or at least should know, there is a problem. You can still love your job and make time for family and friends and request time-off.  

Here are some useful tips from an article titled, (5 Signs You’re Addicted To Work) by Priyansha Mistry that can help you determine if you are a workaholic.

1) “When you always spend much more time than allocated working.

It’s understandable that some days will require extra time to beat deadlines. This is a different case when you always spend time not allocated to working with a fear of failing. Doing so means you are allowing your work to cheaply override other important things in your life, that’s a sign of work addiction.

2) If you have neglected advise from others to cut down working hours.

A behavior noticed by more than two persons independently is not likely a false recognition. The individuals asking you to cut down working hours are seeing your attitude at work than you do.

3) You hate being prohibited at work

If you can’t have a moment without thinking about how to contribute at work, taking your work materials to vacations, feel you are missing out each time you have to spend a day or hours of work doing something else, you are probably addicted to work. It’s becoming a drug that makes you function.

4) You think of how you can free up more time to work

This means you are willing to de-prioritize your hobbies, cut down time you should spend with your family or anything else to give you extra time for work. Something is not normal; you may be dealing with work addiction.

5) You work too much that it has affected your health

This is a terrible situation difficult to realize and gradually take the victims down. It could be psychological or even physical health. If you’re the type that will sit for too long knowing it’s not good for your spine and still wish to sacrifice it to get so much done regularly, there’s a red flag. If you can observe a little change in your health as a result of extra contributions you’re making at work, there’s a big chance you’re a workaholic”.

Some of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, so it goes without saying, that it should be a factor in our happiness. That said, work should not be the only place where we derive all our happiness.

Do you identify with any of above-mentioned signs? If so, it might be time to book that vacation that you have been putting off for a couple of years.  

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Many of today’s mid and small size businesses understand the benefits of using modern-day business applications to drive productivity. And, while some of these businesses see a return on investment, because they start using the systems right away, others either delay their implementations, due in part, to unforeseen circumstances or simply because they do not have the sufficient personnel on staff to take steer the project. In reality, these delays in using the applications are no fault of these companies.

A recent article by Sarah Fister Gale for workforce.com Why SMBs Are Buying — But Not Using — HR Tech provides some insight into the reasons why this tends to happen.

“Small and midsized businesses may be investing in more HR technology, but they aren’t making good use of it, and that’s a shame. A new survey from HRIS provider BerniePortal found that while 64 percent of small and midsized businesses use HR software, few are using technology to manage the full scope of HR”.

Here are some immediate benefits that can be derived by using the business productivity solution that your company recently purchased:

Gain a single view of your workforce by: Leveraging data and HR analytics with greater speed and ease when making business decisions. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand HR analytics solutions for small and mid-size businesses, provide data-driven insight across the entire companyand simplifies workforce planning to help eliminate errors that impede business success.

Reduce business complexity with: 21st century data collectors that captures and reports information in real-time through payroll, thus providing user-friendly tools that help your employees work more efficiently and support your business as it grows.

Eradicate stress by maximizing workforce visibility: with ATS HCM cloud-based workforce management software. Consolidate all employee information into a single system, automate employee intuitive dashboards and manager workflows, facilitate, and develop, data-driven HR strategies.

The article goes on to say; “For very small companies just beginning the HR software journey, LaRocque encouraged them to start with core HR solutions. “You want to get payroll, benefits, time and attendance, and paid time off in order, and there are a lot of platforms designed to help small companies do all that,” he said. “Then you can start looking at purpose-built solutions to meet your specific workforce needs.”

The HR problems a company faces will determine the kinds of tools they should deploy — but they shouldn’t delay. “If you think you don’t have time for technology you’ve got your head in the sand,” he said. The time savings that HR leaders achieve by automating laborious HR tasks make these tools immediately worth the investment, especially for small companies with under-staffed HR teams”.

Bottomline-if you have taken the time to invest in the technology, your company will realize a return on investment (ROI) if you are engaged from inception to completion.

To learn more about ATS HCM Workforce Management Solution, go to our website. You can also download a demo, or you can attend one of our bi-weekly webinars. And, to reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

How To Alleviate Stress From Your Everyday Worklife

January 21st, 2019 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Careers | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on How To Alleviate Stress From Your Everyday Worklife)

Eliminating stress from your work entirely is a nice goal, but of course, we all know that’s not really possible. Some stress is good because, it propels us to complete projects that might otherwise, go unfinished.

There are also a number of ways one can decrease stress at work, some of which might include; taking the occasional break, not working 10 hours or more a day, taking vacation time, and not responding to work emails after hours or on weekends.

Vikki Ledbetter article, article titled 3 steps to a work detoxoffers some tips on the importance of taking a break from the everyday grind. These steps include:

“1. Prepare: Look at your calendar and move meetings. Think about commitments the week following your time out and alert relevant people that you’ll be unavailable. And, of course, communicate your time off as early as possible so your team isn’t caught off guard.

Planning can also illuminate opportunities to train others and give them a chance to try something new, as well as highlight holes in documentation for how you do what you do. Developing tutorials or even one-pagers on your work processes can serve you and your team well long term.

2. Set boundaries: With a physical detox, there are some strict no-nos to your diet, right? Likewise, with a work detox you’ll have to ensure you’re not welcoming stimulants that cause you unrest. There aren’t a lot of occasions where you truly can’t be reached, despite what your out of office message may say. But that doesn’t mean you should be available at all times.

3. Take in the good stuff: Now it’s time to focus on what you can do during your break to kickstart your work detox and leave you feeling refreshed. Make time for hobbies and people that make you happy, and the earlier the better. If you love hiking, schedule it for the first half of your day so you are, in some ways, forced to disconnect from work. If you enjoy writing, set aside time to take yourself on a coffee date for just you and your journal.”

If you have included things like working less and not taking on too many projects as part your New Year goals, good for you. And, if not perhaps this might be something you can add to your list of goals. Hopefully, we still have not abandoned those New Year resolutions yet?

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Your company made it through another year together,and it’s time to let your employees relax, have some fun and enjoy themselves.And, when it’s done right, the annual Christmas party can be great opportunity for managers to get to know their employees on a personal level.

In writing for the Silicon Republic, David Bell’s article, titled How to avoid the Christmas party HR hangover  offers some, advice to HR practitioners and senior executives. Here are three takeaways from the article:

Don’t encourage binge drinking
To avoid behavioural issues, don’t encourage mass consumption of alcohol intake and don’t offer employees a free bar. This will decrease the chances of accidents, fights or issues that usually happen as a result of drinking. If needed, be prepared to tell individuals to stop drinking if they start to appear too drunk or rowdy.

Social media is a powerful tool, used for many different aspects of both personal and business life. However, it is important to remember that when your employees are posting selfies and other various photos at the office party, they are still representing your company, so brand awareness is vital.

Ensure employees use social media in a positive way
It could be a good idea to have one person act as a photographer for the night and only take appropriate photos. The next working day, everyone can choose certain photos they prefer and you could even choose a couple for company social media.

 It is highly recommended that you create a general social media policy in your workplace. Informing staff of this new disciplinary policy will make them aware of the rules and hopefully avoid any possible problems.

Be considerate to all employees
Be sensitive to the fact that some employees may not celebrate the Christmas holiday. There are some religions that don’t consume alcohol, so it’s very important to make sure there are options to cater to them. This will show your awareness and consideration of your employees, making them feel valued.

 Don’t make any promises that you can’t keep and avoid discussions about salary, promotions etc at the party. The reason for this isthat words of encouragement are sometimes misinterpreted and may cause issues in the workplace.

For most, unless the party is on a Friday night, the working week will continue the next day as normal. Despite guidance on what is considered acceptable and what is not, unfortunate events may occur or certain things may be said. In such situations, it’s important that any information given to you by employees stay anonymous, unless said otherwise.

Happy Holidays!

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Spreadsheets serve a good purpose. And several companies use them. In fact, some of ATS financial analysts and even some, in the professional service areas like; software engineers use spreadsheets to measure results. However, this data usually comes in from outside big data tools as oppose to being keyed in manually. The potential to run into errors when manually keying data into spreadsheets is real,especially, when you are dealing with things like leave management and employee attendance.

In a recent article by Courtney Blanchard, for TLNT titled, With Paid Leave Laws Expanding, You Need to Update Your Attendance Policies there are some worthwhile advice for HR and Payroll Practitioners on how to best navigate and keep accurate records of attendance policies. They read, in part:

  •  Review company attendance policies to ensure that any mandatory notice periods (i.e., 2 weeks’ notice for a planned doctor’s appointment) do not violate the sick leave law.
  • Update hiring notices and workplace posters.
  • Educate supervisors on how to spot fraud or abuse without inadvertently retaliating against employees for using paid leave. Most laws prevent employers from seeking any verification unless an employee has been absent three consecutive working days.
  • Review payroll practices to ensure employees are receiving the proper rate of pay for the use of sick leave, and that pay stubs include any required information.
  • Develop a consistent tracking method to ensure that employees accurately accrue time, and that any time used is properly credited and deducted from the balance.

And, while this article is specific to regions in the state of Minnesota, their impact will reverberate across other US states. Also, while labour laws and leave management tracking are different in Canada they could eventually make their way north of the border.

 So, if your company is tracking employee time and attendance including, vacation, and other leave management through paper time sheets, you don’t need to anymore.

With ATS TimeWork OnDemand you can:

 Automate Tracking of Management Policies: ATS TimeWorkOnDemand helps automate the administration and tracking of paid and unpaid federal, provincial, and otherregional employer-specific leave policies. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand can be configured to match the needs of your organization to maintain balances, reduce manual process errors, and control absence costs.

Simplify and Streamline Compliance: Federal regulations and provincial and/or state laws and union policies, often have overlapping eligibility rules, benefit accruals, and notice requirements. Which makes it all the more important that companies should a time and attendance system that allows to them to accurately track employee attendance and leave management policies. ATS TimeWorkOnDemand solution allows your organization to automate laws and policies in a single solution—simplifying compliance and reducing costs, while also freeing your HR team to focus on higher priority responsibilities.

Keep Accurate Attendance: ATS TimeWorkOnDemand will make sure your leave policies are enforced consistently and accurately across your entire company. With ATS leave management automation, your employees will have access to self-service capabilities through leave eligibility, and balance tracking — available24/7, 365 days a year from any Smartphone or tablet, anytime, anywhere.

To learn more about ATS TimeWorkOnDemand Leave Management solution, go to our website. You can also register for one of our bi-weekly webinars. And to reach an account executive,call: 866.294.2467.

Now that we’re into the month of December and the holiday season has kicked into full gear, here’s a question just about every manager probably has on their mind: Just how much work am I getting out of my employees this month, anyway?

Well, regardless of your religious affiliation the end-of-the-year holiday season impacts every workplace, and every worker, whether it’s retail, manufacturing, or healthcare. And, as someone who manages people, you probably only too well, that your employees will likely be distracted and stressed at this time of the year.

This article from Entrepreneur and Glassdoor titled 7 Ways to Manage Employee HolidayTime Off’ is a useful guide for any manager:

1. Plan in advance: Many industrial businesses have their holiday schedule planned well in advance, and there’s no reason any type of business can’t do that either. According to Brian Koniuk, a principal at the HackettGroup, manufacturers typically require employees to plan out their vacation for the coming year so they know in January who is working what holiday and who is off for the entire year. In other industries, like health care, Koniuk says schedules are made three to five months in advance.

 2. First come, first served: If you are running a business that is busy during the holidays or needs to be staffed 24/7 year-round, one way to prevent employees from taking off in large numbers is to limit the amount and give workers off on a first come, first served basis, says Pat Sweeney, human resource manager at Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care. “If they know they are going to want to be off over the holidays they know they have to ask for the time off way in advance,” says Sweeney. She says that starting as early as September supervisors can notify the staff that requests for time off have to be made as soon as possible. Hand in hand with a first come, first served policy is capping the number of people that can take off during the holidays.

 3. Stagger the schedule: You may not be able to keep a full staff during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you have to close early or provide a reduced level of service. To combat that, Kathy Harris, managing director of recruiting firm Harris Allied, says to stagger your employee vacation scheduling. For instance, you can have someone work in the morning during the holidays and another worker take the afternoon shift. Another option: have one employee work Monday and Tuesday and another Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The idea behind a staggered employee vacation schedule is to always have coverage, and at the same time, give employees time off during the holidays.

4. Keep a pool of part-timers: If you are operating a business that picks up during the holiday season, or you know a lot of your staff will be gone during that time, it’s a good idea to keep a pool of part-timers that you can tap when you need extra help, says Gary Should is, a small business consultant, coach and owner of a gymnastics center. “We have a pool of part-timers that we know can work the holidays,” says Should is. “Whenever we hit the holiday period or periods where we lose part of our staff they come on.” According to Should is, it’s a good idea to keep in contact with these part-timers year-round so you’ll know their availability ahead of time. Another option is to post a job in anticipation for holiday hiring.

5. Offer a holiday pay differential: For some people money talks even if it means they won’t be with their family during the holidays, which is why offering a holiday pay differential can keep your business staffed. According to Sweeney, it should be something that is part of the company’s structure and not something you offer just to entice an employee not to take off. “If you’re in a business you know there are a lot of requests for time off you can have some differential built in,” she says.

 6. Institute a vacation blackout period: For some businesses, particularly retail, the holidays are the busiest time for them, which means they need a full staff if not more. If your business falls into this category, a way to prevent employees from taking off is to have a blackout period where no one can take off, says Tanios. If an employee wants off during a blackout period he or she would need to ask well in advance, and it would be at the manager’s discretion, says Tanios. It’s a good idea to inform employees from the beginning of the blackout policy so they aren’t blindsided come holiday time.

 7. Let employees work at home: These days pretty much everybody has a laptop, iPad or smartphone that enables them to work remotely. If your staff doesn’t have to be on site, letting them work at home during the holidays can be a productive way to get things done without having to bring in additional staff. Working at home is a viable option only if the business lends itself to it and there’s away to ensure the employees are actually working. “In this day and age working from a virtual office anywhere is possible,” says Sweeney.

Bottom-line: During the holiday season, employees are likely dreaming of cozying up in Christmas sweaters with their egg-nogs or just dreading that visit from relatives that they see only once a year. Employees will be stressed out enough as it is, anything you can do as their manager to bring joy, could increase productivity and yes, profit to the bottom line.

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By 2025 consumer attitudes towards retail will have dramatically changed. The rapid growth of robotics, cloud and artificial intelligence will permeate the retail and hospitality experience for both consumer and stakeholders. Anticipating consumer trends and deploying innovations that enhance employee and consumer experience and, simplify business operations will be vital to the long-term health and sustainability of retail and hospitality.

ATS Workforce Management for Retail & Hospitality provides these industries with an open, integrated, and best-of-breed application in the cloud, with state-of-art data collectors engineered to empower commerce. With ATS Workforce Management, organizations can streamline payroll costs and increase productivity, such as with a best-of-breed time and attendance, that’s demand-driven scheduling, and absence management software tools. Grocery operations, pharmaceutical, hospitality chains and retailers use ATS Workforce Management solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify businesses operations, and boost their bottom-line.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

Solution Benefits Include:

Employee Scheduling- ATS Workforce Scheduling, allows managers to easily leverage workforce data through an intuitive cloud-based interface, thus streamlining the scheduling process of their employees with roles-based self-service tools.

Workforce Analytics and Business Intelligence- ATS Intelligence (BI) analysis covers the macro picture down to the operating, financial and valuation information-and provides in-depth and economic factors that can impact decision-making.

Digital API Platform and Data Integration- ATS data integration tool, enables users to transfer data from one data source (such as text file, API, CSV or other data files) to an output destination. That output destination can be a text file, database, XML document, or another suite application. The key component of ATS Integration Manager is the interface that contains a set of steps, for the data transfer. By utilizing ATS data integration platform, companies can integrate to existing, ERP, Talent Management, HR, Payroll and CRM applications.

Budgeting and Forecasting- ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, helps you eliminate costs, time, and errors with proper budgeting and forecasting on both short and long-term projections. The budgeting and forecasting module, allow you to integrate annual and periodic forecasting with weekly workforce management execution.

Next-Generation Data Collection- With ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, you automate employee time and attendance processes to reduce payroll costs, comply with collective bargaining agreements and adhered to regulatory compliance. Some of ATS employee data collection include: face recognition time clocks, biometric hand punch, proximity and barcode time clocks and computer-based time clocks. ATS Workforce Management validates the collection of employee data, with up-to-the-minute reporting, to reduce overpayments.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

 

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To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a pre-recorded demonstration. And, to speak to a representative, call; 866.294.2468.

 

Does Your Company Still Embrace The Practices Of A Bygone Era?

April 24th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Career - (Comments Off on Does Your Company Still Embrace The Practices Of A Bygone Era?)

Is it possible that in the 21st century a pregnant woman would have a hard time getting hired? You can bet every dollar you have, that this is a pervasive attitude in some organizations. Is it a bad business decision to refuse to hire pregnant women? Of course it is. The Canadian Human Rights Act reads, in part,

Women in the workplace are valued employees entitled to equality, dignity, respect and accommodation of their needs when they are attempting to become pregnant, while they are pregnant, and as they return to work following a pregnancy-related absence’.

Priyansha Mistry article for HR Digest titled, ‘What can you do when you face pregnancy discrimination? is a useful guide, for pregnant women and has some useful tips if you feel you are or have been discriminated against, because you told the boss, you plan on starting a family.

Does Your Company Still Embrace The Practices Of A Bygone Era?

“As a pregnant employee feeling you have been discriminated, there are procedures to gain justice easily. But let’s first look at your rights and protection under the U.S. federal law referred to as Pregnancy Discrimination Act before outlining the necessary procedures. This should help to identify the exact conduct that has been violated by your employer (or potential employer) and also clarifies your feeling of being discriminated.

 

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is against discrimination in all areas of employment such as promotion, hiring, pay, firing, and all employment benefits. Corporate policies that impede women from working because they are pregnant or fertile are also forbidden by PDA.
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) only applies to workplaces with at least 15 employees. Consider visiting the office of the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau in your locality to know if there’s an agency in your state that can assist you if your office is having less than 15 employees. However, many state laws cover for employees working in companies with as little as 5 workers.
  • Your boss cannot fire you for filing a complaint against him/her, provided you believe that the employer has violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
  • Work leaves received due to maternity or pregnancy is treated exactly as other employees on leave due to disability or sickness, this includes the duration at which a position would be held open.
  • Your promotion cannot be skipped because of your pregnancy.
  • As long as you’re able to discharge the duties of a potential position, your employer cannot decide not to hire you because you are pregnant. Employers do not have the right to ask if you are pregnant or intend to be pregnant and you are not entitled to inform the employer that you are pregnant.
  • Different offices may treat pregnant employees that are not married differently. Some religious organizations with authorization from courts may discriminate employees who violate the institutions’ code of conduct, including premarital sex. Although these employers are required to show that men engaged in premarital sex are treated the same way and not different from the women. However, benefits related to pregnancy are not limited to employees that are married in most organizations.

Bottom line:
You have a variety options at your disposal if you encounter pregnancy discrimination. However, let’s face it, not all companies embrace a 50’s medieval mentality when it comes to dealing with pregnant women and, the ones who do likely have a high turnover rate anyway, because employees can’t stand to work for them in the first place.

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Three Ways To Help Your Employees Deal With Stress At Work

April 10th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Three Ways To Help Your Employees Deal With Stress At Work)

Employee stress comes in variety of forms and it can create an impact on themselves, their colleagues and your company. As a leader, managing employee stress is also part of your responsibility and to ignoring it shows a lack of regard for the well-being of your workforce. Stress in the workplace can have a negative impact on productivity and will eventually lead to company turnover, absenteeism, employee burnout as well as an increase in medical benefits and insurance claims.

Three Ways To Help Your Employees Deal With Stress At Work

In no particular order, here are three tips on how you can help your employees deal with stress from an article titled ‘Help Your Team Manage, Stress Anxiety, And Burnout’ by  Rich Fernandez for Harvard Business Review

  1. Exercise empathy and compassion:It doesn’t cost anything to be kind, and the benefits for managers are great. Empathy and compassion significantly improve employee performance, engagement, and profitability. A seminal research project at the University of New South Wales, which looked at 5,600 people across 77 organizations, found that “the single greatest influence on profitability and productivity within an organization…is the ability of leaders to spend more time and effort developing and recognizing their people, welcoming feedback, including criticism, and fostering co-operation among staff.” Additionally, the research found that the ability of a leader to be compassionate – “to understand people’s motivators, hopes, and difficulties and to create the right support mechanism to allow people to be as good as they can be” – has the greatest correlation with profitability and productivity. Empathy and compassion are good for people and good for business.
  2. Allow time to disconnect outside of work: According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, workers around the world spend 34 to 48 hours at work each week on average, and many engage in work or related activities after business hours. McKinsey Quarterly suggests that “always-on, multitasking work environments are killing productivity, dampening creativity, and making us unhappy.” And one of the most significant findings in employee pulse surveys that I’ve seen in companies large and small is that employees have an exceptionally hard time disconnecting from work.

3.Model and encourage well-being practices:  Worker stress levels are rising, with over half of the global workforce (53%) reporting that they are closer to burnout than they were just five years ago, according to a Regus Group survey of over 22,000 business people across 100 countries. And while stress can be contagious, the converse is also true: when any member of a team experiences well-being, the effect seems to spread across the entire team. According to a recent Gallup research report that surveyed 105 teams over six three-month periods, individual team members who reported experiencing well-being were 20% more likely to have other team members who also reported thriving six months later. Takeaway: understand and prioritize activities that promote well-being for yourself and your team. They could include such things as offering personal development tools, like mindfulness and resilience training; explicitly encouraging people to take time for exercise or other renewal activities, such as walking meetings; or building buffer time into deliverables calendars so that people can work flexibly and at a manageable pace.

Bottom Line:

Every job, regardless of the industry has a certain level of stress that every employee will encounter and while it’s up employees how they deal with the stress, it’s also up to you and will say a lot about your leadership.  The days of saying ‘leave your personal problems at home’ are gone. Always make time for your employees, especially when they approach you with problems, regardless if the issue is work related or a personal one.

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Are There Actual Dos And Don’ts When Giving Gifts At Work During The Holiday?

December 13th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Absence Management | Leave Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are There Actual Dos And Don’ts When Giving Gifts At Work During The Holiday?)

Yes, there really are Christmas holiday gifts that you can give and ones you should definitely avoid giving to your colleagues. There is nothing worse than giving a gift to a colleague at work, only to be met, with complete silence or a bewildered look on their face.

Are There Actual Dos And Don’ts When Giving Gifts At Work During The Holiday?

Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts extrapolated from an article titled Holiday Office Gift Giving Do’s and Don’ts: A Guide for Workers to Surviving the Season by Dr. Randall S. Hansen, founder of Quintessential Careers. And, if you are participating in your company’s annual Secret Santa gift giving these tips will help get you on the right track.

Some of the Don’ts include:
“Don’t assume the people in your office share your tastes.
Don’t feel pressure to run out and buy a gift for the boss if he or she gives you one. But do send a thank-you note acknowledging the gift and expressing your gratitude.
Don’t assume the people in your office share your tastes”.

And some Do’s:
“Do spend time and effort to choose thoughtful gifts for each on your office list. And it’s best to stick to people’s hobbies or favorite activities when thinking of gifts. Another safe category would be a gift for the office, such as a gadget, paperweight, calendar, picture frame, pen and pencil set, etc. A last resort would be a gift card to a favorite retailer.

Do examine the company’s corporate culture for the types of gifts that might be acceptable. A gift for a co-worker at Google may not be the same thing you get for a co-worker at IBM. Rule of thumb: the more relaxed the corporate culture, the wider latitude you have in gift choices.

Do stay within your (and the office) budget for the gifts, and don’t go overboard on the gifts, especially for the boss”.

Unless you are working for a new start-up chances are you probably don’t know everyone in your company; especially those who are in different departments. Even at work, purchasing a gift is a personal gesture.  For example, don’t feel obligated to buy the female sales rep whose name you barely know a holiday gift.

Most of this information is just common sense. If you happen to be a new employee ask your colleagues who have been at the company longer than you have. They will likely steer you in the right direction.

Happy Holidays!

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