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    7 rules to remember when giving your employees gifts

    Gift-giving can be tricky, but a little thought and planning can go a long way.

    The holiday season is a wonderful time to thank your employees for all of their hard work over the last year. You want them to know how much they mean to you and your practice, but sometimes gift-giving can be tricky. You may think you’re handing out a great gift, when in reality the present comes off as inappropriate or tacky.

    So, to avoid any awkward office situations, keep these rules in mind as you shop for your work family.

    Related reading: 5 ways to ensure your dental staff has a great holiday season

    1. No regifting. Your staff knows when you get a gift from a vendor. To claim it as your holiday gift probably won’t go over too well.

    2. No perfume or cologne. This is a gift more appropriate for a close friend or significant other, not an employee.

    3. No clothing. Apparel can be viewed as too personal of a gift to give to your staff.

    4. No candy. While it’s no secret that many dental professionals have a sweet tooth, try to think of something more creative than candy from the grocery store.

    5. No jewelry. This could be misinterpreted as an inappropriate gesture.

    6. No Christmas-themed gifts. While Christmas décor is plastered over every store this time of year, not all of your employees may celebrate this holiday. Opt for a present your staff can use year-round instead.

    7. No spa packages or manicure certificates. These presents are better to give to your spouse or significant other – not your employees.  

    So, what is a safe present to give to your front office staff, dental hygienists and assistants? The gifts that matter are the ones that are thoughtful. You probably spend more time with your work family than you do your actual family. Are you listening to the conversations going on around you? People often talk about what they like and don’t like. If your hygienist loves her morning cup of coffee, give her a colorful mug or a bag of gourmet coffee. Is your receptionist always talking about how she wants to travel? Perhaps get her a book on the top travel destinations in the world. The more thoughtful the gift, the more meaningful it will be to your staff.

    More from the author: 25 ways to handle money worries during the holiday season

    If you’re truly stumped on what to get your employees, consider giving them a cash bonus. This will show them that you value their hard work and performance throughout the year, and they’ll have some extra money to spend as they please.

    Gift-giving can be difficult, but with a little thought and planning, you can make your staff feel truly appreciated this holiday season.

    Lisa Newburger, LISW-S
    Lisa Newburger, a master's level social worker supervisor, helps audiences find humor in talking about tough topics. Her "in-your-face" ...

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