How to get the office Secret Santa/Kris Kringle right

Wednesday December 6, 2017

With Christmas around the corner, many offices will be looking to organise the gift-giving tradition of Secret Santa or Kris Kringle.

Over half of workers polled by card company Amex, said they’d be organising a Secret Santa. This can help reduce the burden of buying everyone presents and keep the costs for individuals down.

It can often be a source of worry for some business owners, as some staff can be offended and it could erode trust instead of building morale.

For example, an overweight worker in America got diet pills as their present – how upsetting! And one manager received edible underwear from a subordinate – very inappropriate!

HR tips to make your Secret Santa/Kris Kringle a success

We’ve put together have a few tips on how to make the most of it and some common pitfalls to avoid!

  • Don’t force people to take part. Not everyone has extra cash around the holidays, especially those with children or those who care for someone.
  • Set a price limit. It’ll differ for each industry and company, but keeping it reasonable will let more people join in.
  • Get staff to fill out a little profile about themselves. Staff may learn a bit about their colleagues they may not have previously known.
  • Suggest a list of generic gifts such as chocolates or drinks and let a staff profile give an option for a present idea or any dietary requirements.
  • Gently remind people that HR policies still apply. Nobody wants to watch the boss’ face as they open up a very rude present!
  • Set a date for buying and wrapping and ask people to pop them under the tree. It’ll make the office feel even more festive.

If you’re worried it might all blow up, why not swap Secret Santa with a Christmas baking competition and ask everyone to contribute a dish.

If combining this with the office party, be sure to check out last week’s blog on making sure your Christmas party goes without a hitch.

Need some HR help?

Have clear policies in place before the festive period and ensure staff understand that any party is an extension of the workplace.

If tensions do boil over, we suggest you seek professional advice and support when launching your investigation.

For advice on having a successful and incident-free Christmas celebrations, contact your local HR Dept.

Preventing People Problems

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