Office holiday parties are popular; more than 70 percent of companies plan to throw one this year. Office shindigs can be a nice change of pace, especially during a time of year that’s hectic for many people. Employees work hard all year, so a party is a nice way to show your thanks and appreciation.
If done right, the holidays are a merry time for all. In addition to hosting a holiday party, you can have “Secret Santa,” gift exchanges, ugly sweater contests and the list goes on. But any holiday festivity can quickly take a turn for the worse if you’re not driving the sleigh.
Eating and drinking seem to be typical party to-dos, but alcohol not taken in moderation can pose a threat. According to a recent survey, four out of five office parties plan to serve alcoholic beverages. While there is no shame in providing alcohol for your guests, be sure you have a handle on consumption to avoid legal ramifications.
Although entertaining is a party necessity, there are things you can do to lessen your risk:
- Have a separate party for minors or take them out to a nice lunch on the company dime.
- If you do have minors attend the event, ensure I.D.s are checked.
- Host your party at a venue with licensed bartenders who can monitor alcohol intake and stop serving guests who are visibly intoxicated.
- Distribute drink tickets prior to the event as the only way to obtain alcohol.
- If your event will serve alcohol, provide transportation or strongly encourage guests to have designated drivers.
- Consider offering to expense any transportation services.
Additional Planning Tips
Party planning can be fun, but can quickly get overwhelming. If you’re in charge of this year’s holiday festivities, here are a few reminders:
- Consider the diversity of your workforce. Calling your event a Christmas party could exclude staff members with other religious beliefs.
- Survey your employees to find out which days and times work best.
- Make sure to indicate who is – and is not – invited. If spouses and children are not allowed, make sure it is known.
Make sure you have control of the reins when planning your next holiday extravaganza. A little preparation will ensure you have a very merry and safe holiday party.
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