As the holidays are quickly approaching, many organizations will be holding annual holiday parties for their workforce, vendors, and families. As leaders, we need to ensure the holiday party is successful, safe, enjoyable and a memorable event for everyone. Any company sponsored holiday parties are still work-related functions and policies are still in place.
Below are 6 suggestions on a successful holiday party:
- Voluntary Attendance: Make attendance at the party voluntary, and do not suggest that attendance will benefit a person’s standing within the company. Mandatory participation sets a negative tone for the event, and purpose for the celebration.
- Dress Code: Enforce the organizations dress code at the party and remind all employees prior to the event of the dress code and continued expectations of the organization.
- Harassment Policies: Remind employees that this is a company event and the policies and procedures about harassing behavior will be enforced. This policy should also be communicated prior to all events.
- Alcohol: Limit the number of alcoholic drinks and/or the length of time during which alcoholic beverages will be served. Provide a variety of non-alcoholic alternatives and plenty of food. Communicate expectations clearly to all employees to ensure no over indulgence in alcohol during the event.
- Smoking: Smoking is not permitted within the party site (in most buildings). Provide and communicate the designated smoking area(s) for smokers.
- Gift Giving: Ensure that you communicate gift giving expectations prior to the holiday event. “The organization may have lottery door prizes available and we do not encourage, but will permit gift giving at the party. Gifts should not be obscene, offensive or of a sexually explicit nature.”[i]
These are just a few suggestions to ensure a successful, safe, memorable and enjoyable holiday party. Proactive communication and planning will ensure the workforce, family members, friends, and vendors enjoy the event. This is a time to celebrate and relax. As leaders, we set the tone. Proactively communicate expectations and thank everyone for a successful gathering.
Published by Mathew W. Burr, MJ-LEL, MBA, MHRIR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CPHR
Matthew Burr has over eleven years of experience working in the human resources field, starting his career as an Industrial Relations Intern at Kennedy Valve Manufacturing to most recently founding and managing a human resource consulting company; Burr Consulting, LLC. Prior to founding the consulting firm, the majority of his career was spent in manufacturing and healthcare. He specializes in labor and employment law, conflict resolution, performance management, labor and employment relations. Matthew has a generalist background in HR and provides strategic HR services to his clients, focusing on small and medium sized organizations. He is a retired Assistant Professor of Business Management from Elmira College, an Adjunct Professor at Alfred State University and Collin College. Matthew is also the SHRM Certification Exam Instructor at the college, his students currently have an 80% pass rate on the SHRM-SCP and 92.3% pass rate on the SHRM-CP. Matthew works as a trainer Tompkins Cortland Community College, Corning Community College, Broome Community College and Penn State University. He also acts as an On-Call Mediator and Fact-Finder through the Public Employment Relations Board in New York State, working with public sector employers and labor unions.
Matthew has publications at the Cornell HR Review, Business Insider, New York State Bar Association, Expert 360 (in Australia). In early 2017, he published his first book, “$74,000 in 24 Months: How I killed my student loans (and you can too!).”
Matthew has an associate's degree in business administration from Tompkins Cortland Community College, a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Elmira College, a master's degree from the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations in Human Resources & Industrial Relations and a Master’s in Business Administration specializing in entrepreneurship from Syracuse University. He currently holds a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) and the Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certifications.
Matthew has been featured on CNN Money, Fast Company, Fits Small Business, Magnify Money, My Twin Tiers, Namely, Student Loan Hero, Smart Sheet and CEO Blog Nation.
View all posts by Mathew W. Burr, MJ-LEL, MBA, MHRIR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, CPHR