Your Go-To Resource for Compliant Corporate Gift-Giving: The Gift and Business Courtesy Workflow.
The holiday season is here — the perfect time to show appreciation for your employees, customers, and partners! Buzzfeed has you covered on which gifts are trending, but in the B2B space, we have the insights on professional gift-giving, business courtesy or GT&E policies, and more.
Keeping Track of Your Corporate Gift-Giving
Corporate gift-giving is a growing industry, with a recent study indicating that the 242 billion dollar market will be growing about 8% per year through 2024. It’s no surprise, given its proven impact on cultivating goodwill and stronger workplace relationships. In a Coresight Research study, over 80% of respondents agreed that gifts improved their relationships with their employees or clients.
But it’s not always clear what is appropriate, or which gifts violate a company’s business courtesy policy. Highly-regulated or highly-compliant industries such as government, financial, legal, and pharmaceutical often have limits to what can be received, what must be denied, and how this information must be stored for future audits. Using technology to automate recordkeeping, review, and approval of these can eliminate uncertainties, provide standard guidelines, and retain all records and decisions to drive compliance.
Gift-Giving Shouldn’t Be Risky
Without an automated approval process in place, receiving a corporate gift means that employees must either look into their handbook to validate whether or not the gift falls under company policy, email their legal team, or receive the gift without staying fully compliant.
The first two options are time-consuming, and often require follow-ups that strain the relationship between the employee and whoever was giving the gift. The last option – simply receiving the gift – opens the employee, and their company, to risk of non-compliance. In some cases, receiving gifts can give the appearance of favoritism, or even bribery. It is crucial to have a streamlined, secure process so that employees can work comfortably with their clients without risking their reputations and violating company policy.
Your Compliance Sidekick this Holiday Season: The Gifts and Business Courtesies Workflow
A gifts and business courtesies workflow can also work both ways, for both employees as well as clients. For example, a self-service portal allows employees to validate the gifts that they receive. Through a standardized portal, employees can identify the kind of gift they receive by product, price, and more. If the gift is harder to categorize, the question can be triaged and automatically head to the right person for a quick response. While this happens occasionally, the vast majority of declarations are handled automatically, validating against company policy on the back end and generating the appropriate guidance. For employers who wish to send gifts, a similar form can be used to validate whether or not the gift is appropriate. In both cases, these declarations or requests ensure complete compliance with company policy, and return a set of data that is stored in case it is needed for an internal audit.
Gifts and business courtesies are only becoming more popular, but without the appropriate policies in place and easy ways to declare one’s gift or courtesy, they open businesses up to new challenges: legal bottleneck at best, and non-compliance at worst. With workflow automation, both of these challenges are easily overcome, and employees are able to relax and enjoy the milestone that the gift celebrates.