Surviving the Office Holiday Party

Surviving the Office Holiday Party


It’s that time of year again…office holiday parties and the awkward situations that come with them! Well, they aren’t always awkward, but with alcohol, dancing and the late hours involved that’s usually how they end up.

Holiday parties are a way to unwind during the busy holiday season, get to know your coworkers better and revel in the fruits of your labor from the course of the year. So hopefully with some of these tips, you and your company can find themselves free of all HR issues that always seem to show up uninvited:

Limit the hours – If you’re hosting an after-hours event, it may be wise to start it right after work so employees aren’t tempted to “pre-game” before arriving. Also, try limiting the party to around three hours.

Provide rides – If you’re able to swing it, provide a car service or Ubers for your employees to make sure they arrive home safely if they’ve indulged maybe a little too much.

Create a “respect” memo – Remind employees, in writing, of the policies on harassment, dress code and how to conduct themselves when representing the company outside of your brick and mortar.

Send for the spouses – Some companies will extend the invite to employees’ “better halves” so that they may be the buffer to any bad instincts or inclinations of their mates.

Lose the mistletoe – Keep the party games P-G, or maybe even G-rated, to steer away from revealing personal secrets or information and that stay clear of any physical contact.

Limit alcoholic beverages – If alcohol is involved, it may be best to limit the amount of beverages to employees. Provide a ticket system so that each employee is cut off after two or three drinks. Manage your risks!

Do more than serve drinks – Having another activity instead of just eating and drinking will break up the time of individuals making their rounds to the bar. Conduct a gift exchange so that everyone is interacting and team building.

Monitor behaviors – Having HR monitor the entire party puts everyone on edge. So by advising management to be more cognizant of people’s behaviors, in case an incident needs to be brought to a halt, should put everyone more at ease.

And lastly…we got a good kick out of this list, but it was obviously made for a reason! Here’s a few reminders to provide to employees of what NOT to do:

  1. Dance provocatively
  2. Drink too much
  3. Kiss anyone on the lips
  4. Hug people they normally don’t hug
  5. Interrupt others who are talking to the boss or CEO so they can introduce themselves
  6. Aggressively pursue people in power for a conversation
  7. Ask a co-worker out on a date
  8. Engage in harassing behavior
  9. Tell someone they work with how hot they look
  10. Drive home if they have been drinking

But most importantly, provide a fun and safe environment for your employees to enjoy together!

Source: SHRM | How to Survive Your Office Holiday Party

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