The holiday season is a good time for managers to express their appreciation for the hard work their employees have done over the past year.

Share story

If you don’t have a policy on managers handing out holiday gifts, follow these guidelines to keep morale intact and legal complaints away:

Be fair and equitable. Bosses who gift should give to all of their employees. They should spend the same amount of money and put the same amount of thought into each.

Don’t try to buy loyalty. Too extravagant a gift will make employees uncomfortable. Reasonable: Gifts in the $20 range.

Keep it professional with neutral, work-appropriate gifts. Don’t give personal items, like fragrances and jewelry. Tread carefully when it comes to humor. Avoid anything that could be deemed obscene, racist, sexist or will embarrass either the recipient or their co-workers.

Never expect tit-for-tat. Managers must never give their employees any indication that they expect a gift in return.