Executives: What Should I Buy the Boss for Christmas?

December 7, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The latest Executive Quiz from Korn/Ferry International found that executives believe their boss is the hardest person for whom to buy a holiday gift.

According to a news release, 53% of executives said the boss was the hardest to buy for, followed by subordinates (17%), assistants (16%), and colleagues/peers (14%).

Said Bob Damon, president of North America for Korn/Ferry, in the release, “You don’t want to give something too small and appear stingy, but something too nice could be viewed as an attempt to buy favor.”

Other findings of the survey, according to the release, include:

  • The largest percentage of executives (38%) plan to take between four and seven vacation days during this upcoming holiday season. More than one-third (34%) plan to take more than eight days, and more than one-quarter (27%) plan to take fewer than three days. Seven of ten (72%) of executives expect to do work while on vacation over the upcoming holiday season.
  • When asked if they expect to receive a holiday bonus this year, the most common response by executives was “highly unlikely” (37%). Only one in five (20%) believe receiving a holiday bonus is “highly likely,” with the remaining 43% of executives unsure.
  • The largest percentage of executives (45%) believes that $25-$50 is an appropriate amount of money to spend on a holiday gift for a colleague. The next largest percentage (29%) say “less than $25,” 17% say “$50-$100,” 8% say “$0” and 2% say “more than $100.”
  • More than half (51%) of executives surveyed plan to attend their company’s holiday party this year. Twenty-one percent do not plan to attend, 5% are unsure and the remainder of respondents (22%) report their company is not having a holiday party.
  • Executives have mixed feelings about the use of business-related holiday cards. Thirty-nine percent feel they are “an important business development tool,” while 41% say they “should be reserved for personal use” and 20% call them a “waste of paper.”
  • More than two-thirds (70%) of executives plan to make a job-related new year’s resolution for 2006.

Korn/Ferry International, with more than 70 offices in 35 countries, is a provider of executive search, outsourced recruiting and leadership development solutions based in Los Angeles. Their online Executive Center is www.ekornferry.com .