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Don’t be silly during the silly season!

December 22, 2020

It’s the season when lots of us – but by no means all of us – give gifts. It’s also the season where others bear gifts too.

This is a wonderful thing. But is it wonderful if you are a public official, a senior manager in a commercial business, or any employee where the gift may compromise your position and your integrity?

In the personal sphere, gifts are a wonderful thing. But in our working lives, they are far more problematic. Is the gift – or benefit as it is most often described in policy documents – just a token of respect or does it come with unspoken strings attached? Does the gift compromise you and your organisation? Is it a “gift”, or is it really a “benefit” intended to subtly influence your decision making?

There is an easy and transparent solution to this subtle and complex problem. Ask yourself three simple questions:

  • WHO: Who is offering this gift or benefit?
  • WHY: Why is this gift or benefit being offered at this time?
  • VALUE: How much is this gift or benefit worth in dollars?

The best way for organisations to manage this risk is to have a clear and frequently communicated Gifts and Benefits Policy. This policy should also clearly articulate the values of the organisation and a readily accessible Gifts and Benefits Register. The key is to manage this risk in a transparent way that protects the reputation of the organisation.

Ultimately, the gift is not the problem. How the gift is managed is the greatest problem.

We hope you enjoy the gift-giving season - without the unintended consequences and worries that it can create.

If you would like help or advice to reduce your organisation’s risks associated with gifts and benefits, Centium can offer you the “gift” of assurance and experience. Click here to talk to us about how we can help.

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