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Give the Gift of Learning
The Kevin Eikenberry Group The Kevin Eikenberry Group
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Indianapolis, IN
Sunday, November 27, 2022


the gift of learningShould leaders give gifts (at the holidays or any other time) to their team members? If so, is it sending the message I want it to? Most important perhaps, what do I get them? These are fair questions. And while I am not your tax accountant, they might want to weigh in on this matter too. Let’s talk about these questions, especially the last one. If you decide to gift, I encourage you to give the gift of learning.

Should I Give Gifts to My Team?

Personally, I have both given and not given gifts to my team at the end of the year.  Ultimately you will need to decide for yourself. Here are several criteria to consider.

  • Does my organization allow it? Make sure you know if your organization has a policy or even a cultural expectation here. This is the first consideration.
  • What about my relationship with the team? Think about the relationship you have and want with your team.  Does giving a holiday gift support your current relationship, or move it in the direction you desire?
  • Who is funding the gifts? This is both a practical question and one of intent. If the company is buying, it might change what you give, or the perception people have of the intent. And regardless of who is buying, you will want to consider your budget.
  • What is your intention? Why are you even considering this?  If you want to show your appreciation to individuals and want to use gifts in this way, great.  If you are doing it because you feel compelled (or secretly hope they will give you gifts back), just don’t.

Assuming gifts are an option organizationally, to me the last one is the most important. Are you giving gifts because you think you should, or because you want to?

What Do I Give Them?

Any gift-giving expert would say make gifts personalized. If you don’t know your team members well enough individually to think of something to give them, maybe that is a hint that you should focus on the relationship before investing time and money in gift-giving.

If your team members are readers, giving the gift of learning (probably books) can be a good option.  Perhaps pick a different book for each team member based on their personal interests.  If you have team members who aren’t readers, think about this carefully.  I have found that giving a book in an area of true personal interest can be great even for non-readers – it shows you were thoughtful, and because of interest they are likely to at least dip into the book!

I am also a fan of giving books that support people in their growth and development.  (Let me suggest our books for this purpose.)  Make sure you check your intention carefully.  What you see as a gift then might see as homework or a new expectation.  If you are going to give everyone the same book, I would likely not frame it as a “gift” – and would likely give it out earlier in December, or after the first of the year.

Hopefully this helps you think through whether to give, and even what to give your team members at the holiday season.

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Name: Kevin Eikenberry
Title: Chief Potential Officer
Group: The Kevin Eikenberry Group
Direct Phone: 317-387-1424
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