The holidays are once again upon us, and that means many businesses are planning their firm's holiday party or similar. I wanted to take a moment to educate you on best practices for hosting / managing these events - from booze to behavior.
- Companies should proceed with caution, specifically since they can be held responsible and accountable for any incidents that occur. As such it is important to assign someone in HR and/or management to monitor behavior and to ensure that all in attendance maintain a semi-professional level of behavior. This monitor resource also should be responsible for determining who will be sent home via car service vs. being allowed to drive.
- Company holiday parties are the source every year of some of the most inappropriate levels of behavior. The mix of alcohol and music results in a drop in professional behavioral standards, leading to more casual and social interaction amongst professionals. As such it is important to keep things as under control as possible so as not to allow lines to be crossed and inappropriate interactions to occur.
- When such incidents occur it is imperative that the events at company parties be dealt with as if they occurred in the middle of the office. Specifically, any incidents witnessed that meet standards for possible harassment or hostile work environment must be investigated and addressed. Remember that all party attendees in view of any bad behavior are also witnesses and possible victims.