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With the holidays rapidly approaching, I would like to make a decision on how to handle the gift situation with employees. What´s the best way to deal with the staff as far as presents? My restaurant is fairly successful and I enjoy spreading the wealth, however, I have a large amount of employees- do I have a party, do I give out bonuses, or do I just do a Christmas gift exchange? Every year I wait until the last minute and then I make the decision. What do you suggest?
Santa Wanta Be
I have always fantasized about giving the entire staff the entire restaurant one Christmas, but I don´t know if that would necessarily be that cherished of a gift.
The first decision you must make is whether or not you want to give financial presents- in the form of a bonus- or an actual gift.
If you have a large establishment with an overflowing staff, you are entering an area that may cause some serious financial concern. But, if you are achieving your financial goals, and the monetary bonus will not affect you, than by all means distribute the wealth. Nothing builds a business more solidly than sharing the exhilaration and financial gains when growth is positive. But, just don´t pass out c-notes like you are printing them at Kinko. Develop a policy- in writing- that you stick to for the future. Review the milestones that have catapulted you into this state of mental bliss and decide who the instrumental staff members were that helped the company achieve the success. To just hand out monetary bonuses to staff members because they are there often causes more damage than the goodwill you assume it will create.
Don´t think that everyone on your staff has to receive an envelope during the holidays. You can bonus the management team and give a gift to the rest of the staff. That is a very common practice and it is a perk of becoming management. Also, it gives those willing to work their way up the ladder of your organization something to strive for.
There is nothing wrong with not giving anything monetary. Think about having a company party and doing a gift exchange. If you pay for the party and give something as enjoyable as a nice bottle of wine to open during Christmas, or a bottle of Champagne to celebrate New Year´s Eve, you are climbing to the top of the restaurateur listing.
Whatever you decide upon, whether it´s a c-note, a sawbuck, or a party at the restaurant down the street, make sure that you at least send a card to everyone on your staff with a personalized note within.
Get their names right. Mention something they did over the past year that you appreciated because it made a dfference. Make sure it is in your hand, and that you sign the card, personally. Nothing cheapens a gesture than having someone else write it. Address the envelopes. Lick the stamps. Put them in the mailbox.
Take the time to think about what they have done for you and the company. When you do, you will know what to give them. And then you will also realize what they have given you over the course of the year.
You should first
Once you make that decision you then have to decide on the amount- to put into the envelope or into the purchase. Either of these avenues will provoke a lot of pondering as to who should receive what, and if this person or that person deserves anything at all.
It is never an easy decision because of the way people openly discuss what they make and what they were rewarded. That is, unfortunately, the nature of the restaurant beast.