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Keep your Holiday Party Professional

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Drinking at your Holiday Party? Here are a few things to consider...

Oh the office party. The stories of the crazy guy in IT getting wasted. Or the quiet office administrator who has moves you’ve never seen. Or even the date that the sales guy happened to bring. You can barely live with them, yet often times, you can’t really afford to live without them. Not attending the office party makes a statement – whether you like it or not. So if you will be ringing in the holidays alongside your coworkers (or employees) this holiday season, here are some recommendations coming from a guy who sees a lot of drug and alcohol testing in the workplace, and people losing their jobs over drug and alcohol abuse.

Should you Have Alcohol At Your Holiday Party?

Quite the dilemma for the HR manager and party planner. Especially when you have a drug and alcohol-free policy in place, and you’re committed to keeping it that way. Yet, for some reason when the twinkling lights come on and the jingle bells start ringing, that strict adherence isn’t quite so easy. So what do you do?

While I typically stick to testing for drugs and alcohol, here’s some advice on what I’d do if I were an HR manager trying to make this decision on whether or not to serve alcohol at my office party:

  • Evaluate my line of business.
    Your decision will greatly be influenced by your employees and the type of work you do. Office setting where every employee is age 21+? Maybe. Employ a lot of teens, or can’t risk any drug or alcohol use because of safety concerns on the job? Absolutely Not. That’s just for me… and what I’d recommend.
  • Pick A Smart Time & Place.
    The location you choose will also really impact your decision on whether to have alcohol at your holiday party. If it’s at the evening and at a restaurant or someone’s home – it may be unavoidable. I’d say if you want to do everything in your power to stop employee drinking, schedule your party during office hours, at the office.
  • Keep Things Professional.
    I realize that those who we work alongside each day feel like family. After all, we spend hours together. However, it’s important to remember they’re not family (at least for most people.) So, whatever you do, keep the party professional. Common sense says hosting a party at a bar or club with drinks and music will open up the night for possible unwanted activity. Planning a party that’s at a more quiet, professional setting – even including drink tickets to minimize drinking if you choose to serve alcohol – is likely to be less troublesome.

Those are just a few thoughts from someone who works with a lot of Worcester businesses for drug and alcohol testing. For more advice, check out some of these commentaries:

Surviving the Company Party

To Drink or Not To Drink?

Booze at the Holiday Party?

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  1. January 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Keeping things professional in a drinking environment can be a challenge. I like your idea about drink tickets.

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