6 Tips for 2013 Office Holiday Parties

The most common questions ThinkHR, an HR and compliance solution-provider, gets during the holiday season are surrounding holiday parties. The group provides recommendations here for the perfect office-appropriate get together. Courtesy of Employee Benefit News [Images: Fotolia]

1. Have one. 1. Have one.

ThinkHR says year-end holiday parties are “great opportunities to network with your employees in a non-work environment,” get to know their spouses/partners and reconnect with employees who you may not see as often in the office. It also benefits telecommuting workers, giving them a sense of community.

2. Remember that the party is employer-sponsored 2. Remember that the party is employer-sponsored

Always follow stated employee policies at the event, and send a reminder to employees about this, too. Remember that the employer is responsible for what goes on at the party and potentially events that occur following the gathering.

3. Have a plan for “the alcohol question” 3. Have a plan for “the alcohol question”

If your company’s facilities do not permit alcohol and you choose to have the party onsite, state up front to employees that alcohol will not be served due to the rules on the premises. If you decide to serve alcohol onsite, if allowed, or at an off-site location, see our next slide for tips to limit consumption.

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4. How to manage alcohol consumption 4. How to manage alcohol consumption

Have a cash bar or supply employees with only a limited number of drink tickets, provide a good selection of non-alcoholic beverages and close the bar well before the party ends. Also, be sure to provide food that is rich in starch and protein, which stay in the stomach longer, and slow the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream.

5. Arrange transportation 5. Arrange transportation

You may want to consider arranging designated drivers or even a bus for employee transportation if at an offsite location. Have certain people monitor alcohol consumption and dial cab numbers to take people home who may have over-indulged.

6. Review insurance with your broker 6. Review insurance with your broker

It’s a good idea to check with your insurance broker about liability for any holiday party-related injuries. Typically though, workers' compensation does not cover these events, so you can take the following steps to make sure the party looks less work-related: don’t require employee attendance, schedule it on a weeknight after hours, hold it at an offsite location and make the party a family affair by inviting plus-ones.

 

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