A gift is something of value given without the expectation of return while a bribe is the same thing given in the hope of influence or benefit. It is essential that employees recognise the difference throughout the year and remain especially vigilant during the holiday season.
For companies, an effective communication plan is critical when it comes to keeping employees on their toes during a period of profound risk. They should be provided with clear and accessible guidelines around gifts and hospitality, regularly reminded about the heightened dangers of festive engagements, and trained how to handle any conflicts of interest. Companies should also prioritise digitising their Code of Conduct and gift register so that members of staff can make the correct decisions in urgent situations while all exchanged items can be documented.
Unprepared organisations run the risk of their employees letting their guard down and that can result in a Christmas corruption scandal with immense financial and reputational consequences.
For further details on how to mitigate risk in this area, please consult our in-depth Guide on Managing Corporate Gifts and Hospitality.