How to survive Secret Santa and your work festivities!

Need to track down a Secret Santa idea by Friday?! Worried about surviving the rest of your work festivities? This is the post for you!

For all their frivolity, work Christmas festivities can present some interesting challenges. Especially if you’re new to the team, or haven’t had the chance to get to know all of your colleagues.

Let’s start with Secret Santa…

What can you find that your colleague will actually want to receive? We’re interested to see how many of last year’s top 10 Secret Santa gifts feature in this 2018 guide. There are 40 ideas in the latter, so you shouldn’t be stuck for long!

Of course, it’s sensible to undertake an extra spot of due diligence before you make your final purchase. The top two most-wanted gifts of alcohol and chocolates could fall sorely flat if given to a non-drinker or someone with specific dietary needs.

Gift cards (which happened to top last year’s list) may be a safer choice if you’re unable to find someone who knows the recipient better than you do. In this case, it’s wise to pick a card from a store that sells a variety of items.

Stick to the upper limit so as to keep things fair. The budget-conscious can naturally get a bit savvy with their Secret Santa search! Sweets, books and socks can all be kind to the wallet if you shop around.

What not to buy your Secret Santa:

Shoppers beware! What strikes you as an amusing or gently teasing choice could fast land you in hot water. What’s more, any HR repercussions could directly affect your employer.

Steer clear of all inappropriate, and possibly offensive, gifts including toothbrushes, deodorants and sanitary products, anything of a sexual nature (stag/hen night type fare included!) and personal garments such as pants.

Now for the office party…

Each year we see multiple warnings regarding work Christmas parties. Have you heard that 9% of British people have actually been fired or disciplined as a result of their party behaviour? The primary causes include:

  • Saying something ‘inappropriate’ to or about a colleague…or boss!
  • Physical or verbal fights.
  • Doing drugs.
  • Getting intimate with colleagues.
  • General inappropriate actions, including nudity or lewd language.

Hopefully, you already know better than to get involved with any of the above!

Don’t feel bad if you don’t always enjoy your work Christmas parties…

29% of people agree. This is mostly due to the interpersonal elements, including:

  • Feeling intimidated by the social aspects.
  • Cliquey colleagues.
  • Feeling forced together.

While it’s hard to avoid this entirely, The Guardian published a party survival piece for introverts.

For all bosses reading this, smaller team activities are preferred by almost 1/4 of employees. Something to consider when planning 2019’s celebrations; try to find out what works for as many of your team as you can. Finally, if you’re a manager or employer struggling to choose your team Christmas gifts, this post is for you!



Most-wanted staff Christmas gifts

Only 39% of full-time employees receive Christmas gifts or rewards from their employers each year. This is according to a new survey conducted by Motivates; as reported by HR News.

Those that never receive rewards formed the largest respondent group (50%). While 11% of people ‘sometimes’ get them.

With less than a month to go until Christmas, managers and employers may start to ponder the available budgets for festive rewards and activities. For anyone wondering, these are currently the…

…5 most-wanted staff Christmas gifts!

  1. An individual cash bonus (64%)
  2. Personal gift vouchers (52%)
  3. Team cash bonuses (42%)
  4. A company-paid team meal or social night (34%)
  5. The manager’s verbal thanks (25%)

Items voted 6-10 can also be found here. As for the percentages stated, each respondent could select as many items as they wished from the rewards list.

73% of employees would prefer a choice of gift, if possible. This could be an interesting way to amplify the buzz of the rewards and invite your team to be a part of the celebratory process.

What to do when there’s not enough budget for staff Christmas gifts:

Several items on the list don’t cost a penny, as per item 5 above. It’s possible to make these rewards even more personal. For instance, speaking to team members individually and taking the time to thank them for specific aspects of their work.

There are also plenty of ideas to be gathered from the realistic staff rewards post – featuring the most sought-after non-monetary gestures. Companies could increase flexible working opportunities or provide additional half days/early finishes for staff to do their Christmas shopping. Even providing an office picnic lunch can make for a lovely affordable gesture.

Employees could also organise their own Secret Santa celebrations, festive bake-offs and post-work drinks to add a spot of festive cheer. Managers would be wise to encourage this; especially if their teams fall into the 50% of workers who won’t receive Christmas gifts.

Longing for some extra hands to make everything happen this Christmas?

Hiring one or more Christmas temps can prove to be a gift for busy bosses! Whether it’s helping with the season’s admin, covering the phone for your festive events, or offering some additional skills for a special project.

Call the office on 01225 313130 to discuss your Christmas temp needs.