The "Christmas Gift" test

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Ever since I started managing people several years back I've practiced giving Christmas gifts and a hand-written Christmas card to everyone on my team. I intend on continuing with this practice for as long as I'm managing people. Actually, even if I stop managing people at some point in the future I'm going to want to keep up with this practice. I've found that it's such a nice way to say a little "thank you".

As of this writing, I have 9 people in my organization. Some of them are my direct reports and others report to a couple of my direct reports who are managers. Regardless, 9 is a pretty small number. With 9 people in the organization it's been very feasible for me to get to know every one of them on a personal level at least a little bit, which has made it possible for me to pick out at least somewhat thoughtful Christmas gifts for each individual. When you don't really know the person you're shopping for, it makes picking out a thoughtful Christmas gift a thousand times harder.

I have plans to grow my team in 2017 and I was just thinking earlier today that even when the team is significantly larger a year from now, I really hope that I would know every single individual on my team well enough to be able to get them meaningful, individualized Christmas gifts. I would go so far as to say that my ability to pick out thoughtful Christmas gifts for my team members will be indicative of whether or not I know and care about my employees.

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