Sunday, December 18, 2005

'Tis the season for giving . . . to the boss?

This is my third Christmas with my current employer. Each year, my boss has given me a gift. I don't feel awkward about it, just a little guilty since he's so generous all year -- buying me lunch quite frequently, for example -- and so supportive of me professionally (guidance, raises, etc.), and I have yet to return the favor, except by offering to pick up the lunch tab and doing my job the best I can.

I've been scouring the internet, looking for tips and advice about these things. In a recent article in the Globe and Mail, I found the following:

While experts agree it's important for bosses to give something to employees during the holiday season, the reverse isn't necessarily true.

"I'm very lukewarm to the idea of giving 'up' to the boss," says Margot Uson, owner of Alternasolutions, a Kirkland, Que.-based human resources and management consulting firm.

"If you work in a small office and have a long-standing relationship with your boss, that may be different, or if everyone in the office chips in to give the boss a gift, that's okay, too, but I wouldn't encourage individuals to rush out and buy for the boss. It isn't really appropriate."

This seems to be the consensus: you shouldn't feel obligated to get your boss a gift, even if he gives you something -- unless you have a close relationship with him (which I do). Peggy Post concurs.

Now if only I could find some tips on what to buy him . . .

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