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.