Unstated ethics of gifts and hospitality

The underlying ethics of both giving away and receiving a corporate gift can often get confusing. The process requires proper care, attention and thought to adhere to sensitivities of a corporation or an individual. One has take into account cultural aspects as well as personal preferences. It’s like a tightrope walk.

The festive season gifting does have a significant impact on business relations beyond work and office parties. Sticking to broader ethics and specific norms can get challenging. You may need help of experts who guide you through the process of appropriate gifting that will boost your brand image.

There’s no doubt about the fact that the gifts and hospitality play a vital role as far as facilitating corporate ties is concerned. It’s a practice widely followed by business to strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones. A dinner with an important supplier sure can help strike a positive chord; a souvenir with your company’s name inscribed on it can perhaps remind the prospective customers of you when they want to strike a deal.

At times the fine line between exactly what constitutes a business gift and what amounts to a bribe ostensibly to influence that person’s decision making can be hazy. Lack of clarity about acceptance of any gift, hospitality and services can leave people within an organization slightly confused, hence vulnerable to charges of unethical or unlawful conduct, which are unwarranted.

So you have to decide for yourself and your institution when is a genuine gift not actually so? First and foremost, give due consideration to the crux of your gift or hospitality strategy. Is it aimed at directly or indirectly influencing a relationship or inducing favorable response from a client or dealer? Or is it just a token of appreciation?

Define tangible and intangible elements including the expectations in terms of end outcome. It goes without saying if the idea is a favorable act in lieu of the gift, it probably isn’t a subtle gesture on your kind. How you do so is something that needs to decided in close consultation with the marketing and sales team members!

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