It's that time of year again: The December holidays are almost upon us. And while we're assuming you're already planning to recognize your employees with some type of gift, what about the less-obvious gift-receivers in your life? The team of people who support your company on a day-to-day basis? Without them, your company would definitely feel a pinch.
With a little help from two business etiquette experts, we've come up with the following list of service people who deserve to be recognized during the holiday season:
- Postal carrier
- Drivers from such shipping services as FedEx, UPS or DHL
- Water delivery person
- Soft drink machine delivery person
- Snack machine delivery person
- Office supply delivery person
- Coffee machine delivery person
- Plant care serviceperson
- Cleaning service
- Tech support people
- Print shop owner
Now for the next step--deciding how much to spend on these people. Phyllis Davis, founder and director of American Business Etiquette Trainers Association, suggests that $25 or less is a good general guide for you to follow when planning your budget. And to help you figure out just what you should give, here's our list of gift-giving dos and don'ts that'll help you make their holiday season a bit merrier.
- Do give thoughtful holiday gifts, such as a travel magazine subscription to the postal carrier who spends every vacation in a different foreign country.
- Don't give anything too personal (including clothing, jewelry and perfume) or anything that could be construed as having sexual overtones or is culturally insensitive in nature.
- Do think about buying edible gifts, since many companies have strict gift-giving policies and price limits.
- Don't forget to call each company's HR department to ask about their gift-receiving policies. Some companies set monetary limits on the gifts their employees are allowed to accept.
- Do give your gifts in person, wrapped and with a card attached.
- Don't hand off an unwrapped gift with the price tag still attached and a "Hey, pal, happy holidays" greeting. It's always nice to recognize your service people by name and take some care in the wrapping.
- Do avoid giving gifts of cash to your vendors and suppliers--most companies don't allow them to accept it.
- Don't give wine or liquor as a holiday gift for an employee--many company policies discourage it.