The OlyverApp Blog

Five Ways to Keep Your Holiday Party from Becoming a Train Wreck

Blog Home   OlyverApp Home

It's company Holiday Party time! A few reminders of what constitutes appropriate workplace conduct in a social setting are in order. Here are five tips for keeping your soiree from becoming a liability nightmare.

The "it was just a joke" defense sounds pretty lame in depositions and on the stand . . .

Don't overserve. Too much alcohol leads to bad decisions. Your company could be liable if someone who attends your party gets drunk and hurts someone else. Try to keep your employees and their guests from overindulging. And if Gary from marketing gets sloshed, take away his car keys, get him an Uber, and let him sleep it off at home. His own home.
Unplug the photocopiers. No matter how well-educated and distinguished your team might be, someone is going to have a little too much to drink and come up with the not-novel idea of photocopying his or her naughty bits. They'll think it's hilarious. You'll quit laughing when someone decides that this silly prank constitutes sexual harassment and hires a lawyer.
No mistletoe. We were all thrilled when Jim and Pam from The Office finally got together. But you'll be less than pleased when Bob finds himself under the mistletoe with Karen (or Doug, whomever), plants a big sloppy kiss on her (or him), and you get to the office one cold January morning to find a threatening letter from Karen's (or Doug's, whomever's) lawyer accusing your business of creating a hostile work environment. Remember, nothing says "we're platonic workmates so keep your tongue in your own mouth" like a nice cactus.
No naughty gifts. Everyone was so happy for Kimberly in compliance when she announced her engagment they decided to prank her with a "naughty" gift that has five speeds and runs on diesel? Bad idea. Kimberly may not take it well, and the "it was just a joke" defense sounds pretty lame in depositions and on the stand. Leave the sex toys to Kimberly and her to-be-betrothed. Get her a gift card to a cactus store instead.
Think "Bar Mitzvah". Look, nobody wants to go to the stupid company holiday party anyway. People show up out of a sense of obligation and rarely stay longer than absolutely necessary. It should be boring. Your goal should be for "unremarkable", like a good Bar Mitzvah. Because as with any Bar Mitzvah, if guests are still talking about it the next day, month, or year, something went terribly wrong.
Want more tips for running your business? Follow OlyverApp on Twitter and LinkedIn.