I can’t believe that it has been a year since I wrote a blog about Work Christmas Party Warnings, however I believe it is worthwhile sending out that message again with a few interesting facts and figures.
As part of our 2014 salary survey we asked companies about their Christmas offerings.
• 24% of organisations surveyed will pay their staff a Christmas bonus,
• 86% offer their staff a Christmas party.
• 59% of those that do organise a Christmas party provide a free bar for their staff members
• 55% of companies will participate in a Secret Santa
• 67% believe the Christmas Party will have no impact on employee’s work performance subsequently
Do you think that this is accurate? What is your company doing this Year?
Just a reminder………………..
Work Christmas Party Warnings!
Don’t try and get out of the office party, look at it as an opportunity to spend additional time with the people that you work with everyday, get to know them and show others around you that you can sensibly handle yourself in a social environment. It will also give you the opportunity to speak to senior people who you do not have access to on a daily basis. So make an effort!
Make conversation at the Christmas party. Instead of chatting with your usual group of work mates or talk ‘business’ all night, get to know ‘Anne’ from the finance department, ‘Joe’ from sales or ‘Colin’ in HR. That means talking about their plans for Christmas and the New Year, not how Anne’s end-of-year, Joe’s sales targets or Colin’s recruitment budget are looking. Think how this could help you in the long run in terms of developing relationships or just raising your profile within the company.
Dress the Part
Dress to impress and remember that first impressions on any occasion always count. You could be meeting people from other departments or at different levels of seniority at the party for the first time. For women, remember that you are still in a work environment so be sensible when you’re picking out your outfit and stay classy. Men should avoid wearing shirts that are obviously two sizes too small to show off their physique (or lack thereof).
No Drunken Monkeys
Don’t take it too far if you’re lucky enough to be treated to a free bar. Don’t abuse it or think that you have to drink at the same speed as Usain Bolt. Resist the temptation to down endless shots at the bar. Remember that it is likely to be a long night ahead of you so stick to your limits or switch to soft drinks if you feel it is getting all too much. Nobody will think any less of you if you don’t drink at the Christmas party.
Flirting with Danger
Be conscious of your behaviour. Remember that you are not on a normal night out with your friends when you can let loose and go wild. The reason you are at the Christmas party in the first place is because you have a job so unless you don’t want to keep it remember:
• No inappropriate flirting because if you do you may find yourself hauled off in front of HR the next day.
• Do not tell any or your colleagues or senior management that you could “do their job with your eyes closed” or that the pre-dinner speech that they delivered earlier was ‘boring’.
Make sure that you are remembered for the right reasons and not for your drunken antics, abusive language, excessive flirting or dirty dancing.
Social Media no no’s
It may be fun at the time but avoid posting embarrassing pictures or comments about work colleagues or senior management to social media pages as it could come back to haunt you at a later date. However, do take some group photos but ask people beforehand if you can post them on Facebook/Twitter. These photos will serve as future memories and are great opportunities to build stronger bonds with coworkers.
Plan your exit in advance as you need to stay at the party for a couple of hours, even if it is the most boring party you’ve ever attended, and long enough so that you have been noticed. However, ensure that you have a good exit plan and one that’s been organised in advance. Plan how you will get home after a few drinks. If you need to arrange your own transport after the party, work out a plan to be collected or book a taxi so you don’t get stranded.
Unless you were smart enough to book an annual leave day for the day after the Christmas party then calling in sick the next day will not be well received. However bad you feel the next morning, drag yourself out of bed and into the office on time. It is important to show an initial cheery face, before you spend the day starring at your computer like a zombie, and thank those involved in the organisation of the party. In the event that you embarrassed yourself or you need to apologise to anyone do it straight away and face-to-face.
With all this in remind please relax and enjoy the office party but remember that a well planned office party could improve your image, establish new friendships and boost your career. Strive to be remembered for all the right reasons.