Tis the season for giving! I love giving. I seriously do. It is my favorite thing to buy things for others (my husband will show you our credit card bill to prove it). And I’m thankful and glad to be in a workplace environment where office holiday giving charity initiatives are implemented. However, I’ve learned over the past few years of doing things in the office that there are some things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to be mindful of when doing office holiday giving initiatives.
Choose Something Fun!
Pick a charity that will be fun for staff members to participate in. Choosing gifts for a giving tree initiative or toy drive is easily fun for shoppers during the holidays. Or choose something with a prize incentive that makes for friendly competition.
Encourage Participation But Don’t Require
Participation is awesome and really unites the office. It can also lead to a really successful initiative. Many offices, in fact, hold incentives to encourage participation like getting to wear jeans to work or paid time off for every so many dollars worth raised or cans of food collected. While it’s great to encourage participation, don’t require it. Not everyone may have the means to give back, whether financially or timing-wise. Participation should also be optional because of the following point.
Be Aware of Affiliations
This was something made aware to me this year as I was driving an office holiday giving initiative. A charity very close to my heart that I thought would be fun to have the office participate in had religious affiliations attached to it. I talked to members of the office social activities committee about it, and everyone seemed fine with it, so it was then brought to HR. Because we work in a small enough organization, HR did not object to it. I sent an email announcing the initiative with a special line dedicated to making office members aware of the affiliations, and I did receive a respectfully written note from one staff member letting me know they would not be participating due to them. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with holding a charity with religious affiliations, or political or social affiliations for that matter. But do remember to be aware and cognizant of the beliefs of your office members. If you are in a larger office where many different views and beliefs are represented, try choosing a more neutral initiative.
Want to reward your employees? Check out this blog post on holiday giving in the office.