The holiday season is in full swing. Christmas is in a few days. The city is lit with colorful lights. The streets are decorated. The ambience is a bit relaxed in the office. Late afternoons and the evenings are filled with festivities.
One thing is on everyone’s mind: what to buy as a gift for your loved ones, friends or colleagues! Although, it is not necessary or obligatory to buy a gift for your colleagues, it is still a good gesture. But buying a right gift for a colleague can be tricky. What do your employees actually want? What do you buy that is meaningful for everyone? It is a difficult dilemma: if the gift is a company branded item, it feels pointless as a gift. One of the reason we give gifts is to foster a personal relationship, but that gets sticky in a professional setting. Also, giving gifts to people who don’t celebrate Christmas, if they come from other religious or cultural background, can be awkward. So, what can you give that can be acceptable to everyone?
To make things simple, as a project manager there are two types of gifts you can give that could be meaningful to your team members:
In certain countries or certain companies’ employees don’t have a lot of holidays. Even if they have, some are so hardworking, or seem to be, that they don’t take any time off. So, giving some time off as holidays between Christmas and new year is an excellent offer. You don’t have to waste money or time to buy something that might not be interesting to the receiver. With the time-off or the holidays, they can spend time on shopping, with their loved ones or take some well-deserved rest. This is the best option as it shows your or your company’s generous side. This option works out well to people who don’t necessary celebrate Christmas.
Gift certificates, gift cards or gift vouchers
If you insist on giving gifts then you may want to give gift certificates, gift cards or gift vouchers. This eliminates the pain and hassle of finding the ideal gift. You may offer an amazon gift. This leaves the receiver a lot of choices to buy something. Gift vouchers for concerts, movies or a meal for two is also a great idea. Offering fun and adventurous experiences is one of the best gifts you can give. For example, you can give gift cards for bungee jumping, a half hour helicopter flight, a parachute jump or a romantic weekend bed-and-breakfast for two in the country side. There is a wide range of choices for you! Since certain tasks in project management can be monotonous, hardworking project managers and team members definitely need some high intensity adventures.
In case the above two options don’t workout out for you or maybe you want to offer something to a team member who is a subcontractor or freelancer, then the following are a safe bet:
Books or training on project management
If the colleague you want to offer something is a voracious reader and at the same time is passionate about project management, then giving him a book on project management is a good idea. Better still, why not give him a gift certificate of a bookshop or for amazon. He/she can get the book of his choice.
If you have aspiring project managers in your team, then why not offer them a training program in a new methodology in project management. Or may be a training program for useful skillsets of their choice.
A bottle of wine or whiskey
If someone enjoys a glass of scotch or wine and you are certain about it, then this could be a good option. Giving a gift of a bottle of whiskey form the highlands of Scotland or a bottle of wine from Bordeaux in France can do the trick. If they are not a heavy drinker then it can last a long time ! 😉
A delicious and mouth-watering box of chocolates
This is a very safe bet. Who doesn’t like a mouth melting truffles from Belgium or a crunchy chocolates form Switzerland or an assorted chocolate boxes from an artisan chocolatier located in a charming street in Paris.
Enjoy the holidays, parties and a very merry Christmas!