What happens at a Party, does not necessarily stay at The Party
Office Christmas Party can be a great opportunity to get together in a relaxed setting to celebrate the holidays. Or, it can be a memorable reason for all the wrong reasons.
“Getting on top of the boss’s desk and dancing
topless is a bad idea,” Emily Warren, chief executive of recruitment consulting firm said in an interview. “Making a pass at the boss’s spouse is not a great idea, either. These sort of things happen all the time and are a big cause of giving the HR headaches.”
“Of all my years in HR, 90 percent of the parties go wrong,” she said, adding, “people regret behaving salacious the next day.”
In order to prevent misbehavior that can lead to lawsuits, sexual harassment allegations and cringeworthy memories, here’s what you can do:
Carton Treatment Centers found that 85 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed last year said they believed it was appropriate to drink at a holiday party at work. Only 11 percent reported experiencing negative social effects from drinking, such as having their behavior hurt others at work.
“Drinking excessively is one of the quickest ways to slide down the career ladder,” Helen Lindemann, an HR at a tech firm in Silicon Valley.
The HR should try to balance between treating employees as adults and prevent potentially rogue behavior. One needs to ensure that everyone drinks in moderation.
Lindemann recalled one employee who overindulged in alcohol and loudly flirted with the boss asking if she could receive a raise and bonus for her outstanding performance review. While the employee did receive a bonus and a raise, she wasn’t respected by anybody
at work, including her immediate boss and the colleagues.
Attendees should only be allowed a limited number of drinks. It’s a good idea to offer vouchers for cab rides. One should also consider serving a light-alcohol punch if they know employees are sure to indulge excessively in alcohol.
According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 59 percent of human resource professional said their companies planned to serve alcohol during an office Christmas party.
The HR should email expectations for appropriate conduct when sending out e-invites to the employees. “Just because it’s being held in the office setting, it does not translate for an invitation to behave rogue,” says Lindemann.
Even if you’re a mom-and-pop shop, you should consider setting expectations for appropriate conduct during the office Christmas party. When you don’t say anything, employees can take it for granted and can go crazy.
Remember, what happens at the party does not necessarily stay at the party. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and social media apps, there are a hundred more ways to document rogue conduct in the office and share it with your followers. This can not only do permanent damage to one’s career but also get them fired from the company.
Arrive early. Network. Take the office Christmas party as a golden opportunity to talk to senior executives. Company parties are a great place to introduce yourself to executives who will influence your career and work life. You cannot just barge into your boss’s boss’s cabin, but at a party it’s a very easy thing to do.