To Give or Not to Give? Canadians Weigh In On Workplace Gift Giving
Workopolis Survey Reveals 4 in 5 Canadians Believe that Holiday Celebrations Have a Positive Impact on their Workplace
Toronto , December 11, 2006 – The halls have been decked, holiday parties are in full swing, and gifts are being wrapped with care. A new Workopolis survey reveals that the majority of Canadians not only find this merry-making at the workplace appropriate, but 83 per cent say these holiday celebrations have a positive impact on their life at work. But a note of caution for busy elves: more than a third (36 per cent) of employees said it isn’t appropriate for employers to give gifts to staff.
According to the survey of working Canadians, only five per cent believe that holiday celebrations negatively impact their work. Women are more enthusiastic (63 per cent) than their male counterparts (46 per cent) about the positive impact of celebrations.
“The holiday season has become engrained in the Canadian working world and employers should reap the positive psychological benefits of the season,” said Patrick Sullivan, President of Workopolis. “At the same time, it’s important for employers to have a good understanding of their specific workforce and be aware of differing attitudes and cultural beliefs. The most important thing is to use the holidays as an opportunity to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments and just have fun.”
How Much is Too Much?
Here’s what Canadians think about the appropriateness of various seasonal activities in the workplace:
- Give gifts to employees and/or their families – Gift-giving in the workplace received the lowest level of support among all the holiday hoopla. More than a third (36 per cent) of employees said it isn’t appropriate for employers to give gifts to staff. Interestingly, Albertans are much more in favour of the practice (72 per cent saying it’s appropriate).
“Gift-giving in the workplace is a delicate issue,” said Sullivan. “A lot can be read into what is given, how much is spent, and who receives what. It’s better to hold a general celebration for the whole team than to give individual gifts.”
- Hold a holiday party – not surprisingly, most Canadians (88 per cent) think a workplace party is fitting for the holiday season. Those in the Prairie provinces are somewhat less enthusiastic (75 per cent indicating a party is appropriate), as is the case for older workers (aged 55+).
- Put up holiday decorations – 82 per cent are in favour of decking the halls at work and Atlantic Canadians most embrace their inner Martha Stewarts (91 per cent indicating it is appropriate to decorate the workplace).
- Reduce hours or close – 78 per cent of working Canadians say it’s appropriate to reduce working hours or close over the holiday period. Only two thirds of younger workers (18-24 years) feel this is the case, potentially viewing the holidays as an opportunity to make some extra spending money.
- Give holiday bonuses – The majority of Canadians (70 per cent) think it’s appropriate for the boss to give out bonuses, but Quebecers are split on the issue (with only 58 per cent in favour).
'Tis the Season
According to employees, most Canadian businesses mark the season. The top three ways that Canadian companies are getting into the holiday spirit are:
- throwing a holiday party (70 per cent);
- putting up decorations (63 per cent) and
- working reduced hours (53 per cent).
Less than one in ten (seven per cent) Canadian businesses do not acknowledge the holidays in any way.
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-30- About the poll: The poll was conducted by Decima Research between November 30 and December 3rd, 2006 via a national omnibus telephone survey among a representative sample of 614 working adult Canadians. The margin of error is +/- 4%, 19 times out of 20. For further information: Amy Davidson or Olivia Yu Environics Communications 416-969-9000