Office Politics Dictated Holiday Gift Giving

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 01-06-2014 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Selfless Dispositions
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    Selfless Dispositions

    52% of American workers planned to give gifts to their coworkers this season, yet 55% don't expect to receive anything in return.
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    Fairer Sex
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    Fairer Sex

    58% of women planned to give a gift to coworkers this season, compared to 47% of men.
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    Distribution Channels
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    Distribution Channels

    36% planned to give to their peers, and 27% intended to give to their bosses.
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    Mirror Image
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    Mirror Image

    22% believe that a holiday gift bought by someone in the workplace should reflect how much money they make.
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    Spending Limit
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    Spending Limit

    44% paid no more than $20 in buying a gift for a coworker.
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    Source of Tension
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    Source of Tension

    37% say buying gifts for colleagues stresses them out as much as holiday shopping for those who aren't coworkers.
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    Hidden Agenda
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    Hidden Agenda

    58% believe that most employees give gifts to bosses in order to get ahead.
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    One-Up the Others
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    One-Up the Others

    11% who have purchased a gift for a boss say they've spent more than their coworkers in order to outshine them.
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    A One-Sided Relationship
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    A One-Sided Relationship

    Only 9% of bosses plan to give a gift to those who report to them.
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    What Employees Want From the Boss Instead of Traditional Gifts
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    What Employees Want From the Boss Instead of Traditional Gifts

    Cash bonus: 74%, Extra day off: 29%, A handwritten thank-you card: 12%, A lavish holiday party: 9%
 

There should have been plenty of cheer in your office this holiday season when it came to gifts, according to a recent survey from Spherion. The majority of workers planned to give to peers, and a significant percentage intended to give to their bosses. (That would be you.) However, you may be surprised (or not) to discover how many employees weren't really be motivated by the "good will to men" thing when they shopped for you. Instead, they were looking to outshine their colleagues in hopes of getting a big raise. (Sorry if this puts a damper on any festive feelings.) Fortunately, however, this tactic applies to a minority of professionals. And as a senior IT leader, you should strongly consider giving back to your teams every holiday season, even if it's just a small token of appreciation for a good year of valued work. Unfortunately, few bosses do. "Workers want to show respect and appreciation for others," says Sandy Mazur, a division president at Spherion, a top staffing company. "But they also want to receive gratitude from their coworkers and bosses, and not just in the form of gifts. There are many other ways to give thanks besides a traditional holiday gift." An estimated 970 employees took part in the research, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive. For more about the survey, click here.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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