By Steve Moran

Some facts changed to protect the guilty.

I was recently talking to an executive director friend of mine who is a few months into a new position with a new company, and he asked about the budget for an employee Christmas party. The amount came out to about $0.75 per employee.

Why Bother?

I found myself wondering why they bother to put any money into it at all. It is mind-blowing. As a lot of you know, each weekend I teach a group of fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at church. I want them to be on time and have found bribery is a very effective way to encourage on-time attendance.

What I do is go to the dollar store, purchase a basketful of dollar toys (really $1.25 now), bring them home, wrap them in newspaper, and give them to kids who are on time. I spend probably close to $100 per month to do this, and it is super effective.

What I do for my kids is way less money than this company is willing to spend saying merry Christmas to their team members — the people who serve residents, who make it possible for them to have a fantastic Christmas for their spouses, children, and grandchildren.

It would be better to budget nothing and look like it was an oversight than to say, “We thought about it, and that is all we think you are worth.”

Making the World Right

I challenge each leader to do Christmas at home for the same amount they budget for their employees’ Christmas celebration. I am not talking about the presents, just the decorations, the food, and the drinks. So in this case, each leader should budget, what, $1.50 to $5.00 for decorations, food and drinks, and a tree?

I know work is not the same as home, but even so ….