Corporate gift-giving is a way of recognizing business relationships, loyal customers and exemplary employees. By creating a gift-giving policy (within the guidelines permitted within your industry and the value of gifts your employees receive), you can protect your company’s reputation.
You may want to set a dollar value limit on gifts per gift. A clear policy allows you to define parameters and to use the policy as an easy method to decline inappropriate gifts without risk of offending your customer, vendor or team relationships. Giving to the entire office or department is a method of sharing that will not offend anyone and not give the appearance of favoritism.
Why Worry about Gift-Giving
Industry-Specific : A policy on gifts is especially important if your business is in a regulated industry including healthcare, finance, government office. These industries/government offices have a set dollar value on gifts, such as a maximum of $20- $25 per gift and even per year. You should never allow the appearance of receiving a kickback which may influence regulated decisions. For example, a healthcare professional must not accept large gifts from a pharmaceutical company, because it might give the appearance of the company professional being bribed to prescribe certain medication. When in doubt, it’s best to create a no-gift policy. Many healthcare staff cannot even accept pens or small gift items from vendors. The penalties for kickbacks are extremely heavy, and these businesses don’t risk even the appearance of inappropriate gifts.
Settng Policy on Elaborate Gifts to/from Customers
Setting a policy about what you or your company send to or receive from vendors or customers helps keep relationships professional. You don’t want your customers to feel beholden after receiving extravagant gifts, or to feel bad about declining such gifts. Having a corporate policy can be used as the basis for declination of a lavish gift. You or your appreciative customers may still offer you or your employees small well-thought out gifts, but make sure they comply with regulations for your industry.
Elaborate Gift Giving
Keep in mind that expensive gifts can be seen as bribery. Rules and guidelines for giving gifts, cash rewards help protect your your and your company’s image. It’s not only outsiders who suspect bribery at the sight of expensive gifts might influence decisions. therefore a corporate gift-giving policy takes this concern off the table.
Gifts Between Employees: There’s a fine line between customer/vendor relationships . You can’t regulate what work friends give each other on personal time, but you can set rules of ethics with work-related gift-giving events.Provide rules for dollar value limits and ensure that participation is optional. If gift giving is done in the office, make sure everyone understands that all items should be work appropriate.
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