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The Donation Culture - Stop it!

If there's one thing I'd ban immediately, it's the practice of collecting donations for gifts, parties, and other celebrations. Asking for contributions to buy a gift is just ridiculous. Another pet peeve: signing birthday cards for people I barely know. HR and their "culture," right? 


Firstly, if I want to give a gift, I'll do it on my own terms. If I don't have a close relationship with the person, why should I be pressured to contribute? I once had a situation where the HR director and I didn't get along, yet when her birthday rolled around, the HR manager initiated a collection for a fancy bag. I was straightforward: I wasn't contributing. Why should I spend money on someone I don't like, who doesn't like me? I wished her a happy birthday and that was it. On the flip side, I've happily chipped in for gifts for people I genuinely care about.


Secondly, people have varying financial situations. Some can't afford to contribute, yet they feel obligated to do so to avoid feeling embarrassed. How does this promote a positive employee experience? You might argue that it's not mandatory, but the pressure to participate is significant, so why not just stop it altogether?


Thirdly, if the goal is to genuinely celebrate employees' birthdays or special occasions and express gratitude when they leave, HR should allocate a budget for these occasions. Some companies already do this to some extent. For instance, they send a bouquet and fruit basket with a "Get Well" card when someone is ill. They also budget for team birthday celebrations, although I find these unnecessary. All 20 of us get a cake, yay! HR could also budget for a farewell gift, just as they do for welcome gifts, with the mindset of "Do not burn bridges with your employees because they are your future talent pool." Most companies do express gratitude to employees in many ways, whether with a card or another gesture. If they don't, just ask them, and to stop collecting money from employees.


Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:




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