The question of ethics in corporate gift giving has been dominant across many companies with most people seeking to know where to draw the line between gifts and bribery. Gift giving in the workplace is ethical, but recipients should be quick to perceive when they translate to something else. For example, receiving a car as a corporate gift is bound to raise a thousand questions compared to receiving a customized corporate gift, like a personalised notebook. In such cases, an employee or a client may be compelled to reject the gift if it is obvious the gift is no longer out of goodwill.
Ethical Gift Giving in Singapore
Corporate gift giving is common in most Asian countries like Japan, India, and China but you should be careful while exchanging gifts in Singapore. Singapore is one of the leading corruption free states where even the slightest hint of bribery may land you in hot water. Many companies in Singapore have formulated rules and policies to govern corporate gift giving to help with the ethical dilemma. This has subsequently helped them distinguish between a modest gift and anything else that could be bribery. In this case, it would be easy to conclude that a quality corporate gift would be more appropriate compared to an expensive one.
Ethics in Corporate Gift Giving
Many companies in the country encourage the act of gift giving among colleagues to promote healthy relationships between them and to show recognition to their fellow workmates. Employers should consider following some guidelines that help draw a line between ethical gift giving and bribery.
You should never accept nor give an expensive corporate gift- this raises a question of what should I consider an expensive gift? Anything that will make you feel indebted to the employer for the rest of your time in the company no longer serves the purpose of showing appreciation to the workers. Additionally, any gift that a person cannot afford on his or her own may end up giving the wrong impression.
Do not give a gift in the middle of a negotiation or before the client signs a contract. A gift at this time may be interpreted as a bribe, which could result in a series of court cases.
You should always give gifts to all workers in a department without leaving out anyone.
Employees and clients can quickly reject a gift if it appears to have any strings attached to it. This may create an awkward situation between the giver and the recipient. However, this can be a wise decision especially if the corporate gift does not follow the company’s policies. Remember to be gracious and polite while declining a gift.
Many companies have created a process of registering gifts- this helps them pay close attention to what is being gifted to employees through them. Registration has also helped companies tackle unexpected bribery or any other questionable case that might happen after receiving the present.
You should never give gifts to a client’s spouse.
Employers should always stick to the company’s rules of gift giving if they intend to display their appreciation to the loyal customers and employees.
Corporate gift giving is essential especially if you are looking to build lasting relationships with your company’s workers. It is therefore advisable to develop policies that govern the gift-giving activity to prevent any cases of bribery. Companies should also take a leading role in educating their workers on the ethics of gift giving as well as policies to follow while giving gifts. Always remember that sometimes all you need is to trust your gut to make a distinction between what is ethical or not in corporate gift giving.