I remember being 10-year-old seeing my parents bringing big-ass kitchen utensils and home-decor pieces during the Diwali season. While I always wondered why couldn’t they get better gifts, it was one bit that really got me excited about growing up and working. You know, who doesn’t want a free gift?

diwali gifts
“I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it” | GIPHY

But now that I’ve finally grown up, I don’t want some ruddy home decor piece that I will need to clean later or a stupid voucher cos I can afford one of my own. Instead, I want qualitative gifts that I can ACTUALLY appreciate and not gulp begrudgingly.

So here’s an article for employers, especially the toxic ones (you know who y’all are), here’s what we’d REALLY want you to give us instead of those pretentious formality gifts.

1. Ask that micro-manager to STFU.

Yes. That micro-manager is the reason why you’re understaffed. And your HR has heard more than enough complaints about them, yet you won’t take any action. You prefer losing hundreds of new talent rather than teaching that one obsessive controlling micro-manager a lesson?

So this Diwali, set a precedent for all the toxic managers out there who make work life hell for juniors so much so that they begin hating the corporate world before they’ve even begun their careers.

corporate toxic employers
Micro-managers suck | Silicon Republic

2. You know your working hours? STICK TO IT!

I don’t want my manager asking me to get on a call at 10 PM only cos she has no life. I don’t want to be working on a shoddy PPT you assigned to me on a Friday evening for a presentation on a Monday morning. I don’t want work calls on my day off when my team was laid-back enough to not go through my handover mail. I don’t want a lesson on ‘adjustment‘ & ‘compromises‘ when you don’t spend money on hiring new resources. And finally, I ain’t doing overtime at zero pay to compensate for your lack of resources and incompetence.

So, this Diwali, email employees your pledge to not hassle them beyond work hours. We’ll appreciate it!

employee diwali gift
Ban overtime. | MileIQ

3. Hire new resources ON PRIORITY.

If so many of your employees have complained of overwork, consider this a sign that you REALLY need new resources. You can’t just dump work on your present employees just because you don’t wanna bear the cost of hiring and training a new resource.

So, this Diwali, recruit resources before your existing employees flee out of exhaustion.

iStock Photo

4. Please make getting leaves approved a HASSLE-FREE process.

I don’t know what makes you think you can guilt-trip me for taking leaves. While I always ask for leaves in advance, there can be unforeseen urgencies that you’ve gotta understand. And mental health break is very much a thing, so stop debating it. Besides, asking for leaves is very well within my rights. It does not mean that I am not a team player, but that you are understaffed.

So, this Diwali, go and prescribe to point number three and approve my damn leave.

office work leave
Business Today

5. Better increment, Like, REALLY GOOD.

One moment of time employees really look forward to is their appraisal month. We expect a better pay raise and promotion for the hard work we’ve done over the course of the year. It sucks to see a mere 5%-10% increment for all the overtime you made us do for 365 days of the year. We feel betrayed. 🙂

So, this Diwali, loosen up your purse strings a bit and pay employees their fair share.

diwali gifts for employees
People Matters

6. Stop forcing employees to attend your superficial parties for all those window-dressed Instagram reels.

I get that you wanna look cool on social media. But stop deceiving the world cos that ain’t gonna improve your Glassdoor reviews. After overpopulating our to-do lists and hardly giving us time to have a life, you expect us ‘to be team player‘ and play Tambola and shiz. You want us to masquerade in those corporate parties when you don’t give two effs about us in reality.

So, this Diwali, stop forcing your employees to attend your parties & let them live their life for a change.

corporate parties diwali gift

7. Stop asking me to pay for a birthday gift to my toxic micro- manager.

You already pay me in pennies, and now you want me to contribute to an extravagant birthday gift for my toxic micro-manager, whom I absolutely abhor. Forget me! You expect a one-week-old executive who hardly knows anybody in the organization to pay thousands for one random gift to a manager who doesn’t care about training him? Are you kidding me?

So, this Diwali, make giving pretentious gifts to seniors a choice and not a norm. Let’s be non-judgemental towards those who don’t wanna contribute.

corporate gifts
BP Guide India

8. Mental Health Day offs.

You know that times have changed and the world does not operate in ‘Life begins after retirement’ mode anymore? Right! Start implementing policies centered towards employee mental health instead of holding those monotonous mental health seminars that managers force us to attend even on loaded work days. Or do you just believe in the importance of mental health for the social media world? It’s high time you start practicing what you preach. Don’t you think?

So, this Diwali, allow employees to take mental health breaks and not force them to work when they’d rather look after themselves.

employees toxic work
It ain’t selfish to take a mental health break. | Real Medium Blog

9. Make MENSTRUAL-LEAVES a thing.

Imagine somebody punching you really hard continuously. That’s what period cramps feel like to me, but the situation is even worse in many other cases. So working productively when your body is going through unbearable pain is quite evidently — not humanly possible. Hence, when your employees request WFH or leave on period days, take a sip of empathy and calm down. They wouldn’t have asked for this unless it was absolutely essential.

So, this Diwali, try to understand that your employees are human beings, not robots, and treat them justly.

period leaves employess

Sincerely, an executive who’s on the verge of putting in papers.