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The Ethics of Gifts

by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

Just coming off the “gift giving” season, I got to wondering where gifts of token appreciation become gifts for past or future favors.

Ethics 1It has long been a practice for suppliers of goods and services to give gifts over the holiday season.  A box of candy, a bottle of wine, or a fruit basket are common.  These are often provided to buyers, puchasing agents, receiving clerks, chefs, G.M.s and others.  But where and how do you draw the line?

Do you set a dollar limit?  Perhaps you just have a policy that no gifts are to  be accepted.  Are you one of the companies that give gifts to your top customers?  Can those be misinterpreted?

Where do you see that thin line between a token of appreciation and something more?  What is your policy and how do you police and enforce it if you have one?  If you get a gift that you feel may be inappropriate, or could be viewed as such, how to you tackfully decline it?


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Ken Vincent
Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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