The Pros and Cons of Holiday Parties

Posted November 25, 2016 by Mary McGinley

Almost everyone looks forward to the holiday parties that are popular during this season. Such gatherings afford companies a way to boost morale by thanking workers for their service and provide an atmosphere where employees can have fun in a purely social setting.

For human resource professionals, however, holiday parties can lend themselves to an environment that can cause potential issues to arise if the merriment isn’t adequately managed.

According to Andrew Challenger, executive vice president of HR consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., in an interview with Bloomberg BNA on November 15th, profits have surged this past quarter and companies have a little extra cash in 2016.

In a survey that the firm conducted interviewing 100 HR executives, 76 percent of those who responded indicated that they would hold a holiday party. This figure is a significant rise from the 69 percent that indicated they would hold a company holiday party in 2015.  

Challenger suggests that the reason for this significant increase is that, across the board, companies are now in a fight to keep top talent in their ranks. Industry experts know that the culture within a company contributes a great deal as to whether or not that talent decides to stay or to go somewhere else. “Companies are spending more than ever on creating an environment where people want to work,” and holiday parties “are a big component of that” by increasing camaraderie among employees and overall positivity for the company, he said.

For the HR departments of these organizations, however, a holiday party can mean that the company is ultimately responsible for any injuries, harassment or other incidents that happen as a result. HR professionals should be proactive and let employees know before the event what the expectations are in terms of employee behavior well before the party is held. If any incidents do occur, Challenger insists that HR needs to be “extremely responsive” to any complaints.

The most pervasive complaint seems to arise from company holiday parties where employees are allowed to consume alcohol. Workers can “let their hair down” and inhibitions or common sense that might have been in place before somehow falls way. Making arrangements to avoid issues before they start can go a long way in order to make sure fewer potential incidents arise and everyone has a good time. You can read more of the extended article from BNA here.

Holiday parties are a great way for companies to reinforce their organizational culture and a way for employees to interact in a more informal setting. Managing expectations on both sides can help in avoiding problems before they start. Protecting and extending company culture as well as helping you to further that vision is part of what we do at EinsteinHR.

Our human resource professionals can work with your company and help you to determine what matters most to your company to find the talent that’s the best fit for your organization by assisting in your search for the right candidate for the job. EinsteinHR offers a wide range of ways in order to attract, hire and retain top talent for your organization and avoiding any problems along the way through our experience. Contact us today to find out how and get a quote. You can reach us toll-free at 770-962-1700 (EMC2).