Have you ever been tempted to let your hair down at a company holiday party? Don’t do it! As a manager, you have two responsibilities at holiday celebrations; to keep yourself out of trouble and to help others avoid inappropriate behavior.
– It’s a good idea to add “holiday party expectations” to a group meeting agenda or hold a brief meeting on the topic. During the meeting, you can review your organization’s policies about drinking, drug use and appropriate conduct.
– Remind your employees that a work party is different from a typical social event and caution them about their behavior. Mention the possible ramifications of becoming intoxicated at a work-related event.
– Remind employees that one of the effects of consuming alcohol is that it generally lowers inhibitions. For that reason, you suggest that people stay well within their own limits.
– Mention that one of the dangers of “loosening up” too much at a workplace event is that inappropriate behavior could be construed as bullying or sexual harassment.
A few suggestions for those planning the event:
– If you are organizing the celebration, be mindful that there are religious and cultural differences to consider when planning a party.
– Make sure that there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available.
– Develop a plan for getting someone home safely who shouldn’t be driving.
‘Tis the season and all that, but no one wants their career or reputation damaged by a faux pas. As managers, you can help others avoid costly mistakes by simply offering a few words of wisdom. And by all means, follow this advice yourself!