What Happens at the Office Holiday Party Should Stay There…

What Happens at the Office Holiday Party Should Stay There…

‘Tis the Season… Is your company having a Christmas Party… I mean Holiday Festivities. I feel in the not so distant past, companies were known for having annual Holiday parties with champagne and dancing. As liabilities seem to be increasing, companies slowly shifted to pot luck lunches, and even cookie exchanges. Parties don’t have to be liabilities, they can actually be fun, and believe it or not there are still companies out there throwing parties.

Here are some tips to survive and thrive this Holiday Season:

Business Owners:

  • Throw the Party:  Often the idea of a holiday party or gathering, becomes overwhelming, and the idea of skipping the whole thing, and passing out gift cards seems like an easier path. The reality is no matter what, you are never going to please everyone, so throw the party any way. In the PEO industry, employees get beat up at the end of year, so they certainly have earned it. A time to unwind with your co-workers, swap war stories, indulging in good food is a nice way to close out the year, instead of closing it out with the memory of black out vacation periods, long hours, and surprise onboarding of large clients.
  • Respect the diversity of your staff:  No one likes a party that feels as if it was literally thrown by the HR police, but keep in mind the diversity of your staff, as this is an opportunity to thank them, not insult them, or make them uncomfortable. Keep the theme general without beating it over people’s head. Make the overall theme surround a celebration of them and gratitude for the hard work they have done all year long.
  • RSVP:  Allow your employees to decide if they would like to attend. Be aware that by making the party mandatory, you may be subject to wage and hours issues of hourly employees.


  • Consider RSVP’ing Yes:  While we can all appreciate the somewhat awkward nature of the holiday office party, especially if there is dancing involved, you really should consider attending. The holiday party is a chance for your employer to say thank you, and it is considerate, to say You’re Welcome. It is a chance to mix and mingle with people from other departments as well as raise your visibility company wide. Don’t be a Scrooge!
  • Consider Technology: While office parties are technically social gatherings, they are still business events, so conduct yourself professionally, because what happens there, may end up on someone’s iPhone. The last thing that your resume needs, is a quick link to you dancing inappropriately with someone from accounting.
  • Stay Positive:  Do not be the person at the party that still seems stressed about the latest crisis or keeps mentioning how overworked you are, and that post party you are headed back to the office. This impresses no one, and actually brings the party down. Your employer went through a great deal to host the event; it is important to be gracious.

So raise your glass of sparkling cider, to a job well done, Happy Everything & be Merry this Season.

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