As the employment tribunal over Mary Archer’s former PA demonstrates, poorly selected employee gifts can cause long-term staff demotivation and haunt bosses for some time after.
Lady Archer faces the employment tribunal over unfair dismissal claims from her PA, Jane Williams.
Williams has revealed that Archer presented her with an inch of flat champagne from a previously opened bottle on her birthday. She also claims that Archer presented her with an authentic designer watch from Calvin Klein – with “Made in China” etched on the back.
Williams labelled the gifts “insulting and embarrassing”.
It’s no surprise Williams felt unappreciated and the employee/boss relationship continued to deteriorate until Archer sacked Williams last year.
The case shows that bosses who take a lazy approach to employee gift selection or make “cheap” choices often cause more harm than good.
Archer is not alone – thousands of companies continue to inconvenience and irritate employees with poor gifts. Feedback from clients shows that staff prefer to choose their own gifts, instead of being subjected to unimaginative gold watches, flashy pens or Christmas turkeys.