The majority of American businesses are planning to throw some kind of holiday celebration this year (either 76 or 79 percent, depending on which recent survey you read). But those festivities can have some unexpected fallout: according to Fisher & Phillips LLC, 36 percent of companies that gave a holiday party reported some kind of behavioral problems associated with the event.
Does this mean you should nix your celebration? Absolutely not! Just follow some guidelines for reducing potential office party fouls:
- If you serve alcohol, keep it in moderation. Lowered inhibitions and loss of motor control are the last things a work function needs, and excessive imbibing by employees or guests could put you at risk for liability. Consider serving beer and wine only or having a cash bar. Or hold your party at a restaurant with professional bartenders and taxis on call.
- If it’s a nighttime event, allow spouses, significant others or close friends to attend. Not only does this encourage employees to get to know each other personally, it also gives each of them a potential designated driver.
- Consider having a party during the day, perhaps a lunch or mid-afternoon get-together. A daytime event tends to discourage heavy alcohol consumption, and it can also be an appropriate venue for inviting vendors and clients.
There are a lot of “how (or how not) to behave at an office holiday party” videos on YouTube and, perhaps fittingly, most of them aren’t completely safe for work. This one, from CareerTV, showcases the holiday-party rules in a fun, professional way.
You could also explore alternatives to the traditional holiday party, if your employees seem less than enthused at the prospect:
- Hold a Secret Santa or white elephant gift exchange.
- Choose a charity and donate the cost of a holiday party to that charity, perhaps in conjunction with a donation drive among employees or neighboring businesses.
- Instead of an event at a specified time, have a day where everyone wears a Santa hat, or a hideous holiday sweater (or both!).
- Consider a potluck lunch or cookie exchange.
- Or, there’s always the gift of a cash bonus or extra time off.
No matter what you celebrate this season or how you celebrate it, your employees will appreciate the steps you take to let them know that you’ve valued their contributions this year. With a little extra thought, you can mark the holidays in a safe, fun, festive way.
How do you plan to mark the holidays this year? Let us know in the comments.Share this Post