The holiday season is here which for some of us means the corporate holiday party is just around the corner. When participating in corporate festivities, it is important to remember that this is a corporate sponsored event and office etiquette should be followed to avoid embarrassing blunders that could potentially become office legend.
Around fifteen percent of supervisors have stated that inappropriate behavior by employees at holiday parties have had a negative impact on promotion opportunities for these individuals. To avoid these scenarios, let us take a look at some important corporate holiday party do’s and don’ts.
1. One of the most common mistakes made at corporate holiday events is excessive drinking. Try limiting your drinking to two drinks or replace alcohol with other appetizing beverages like coffee, soda or water. Avoid mixing your drinks. Decide if you are planning on drinking before arriving at the party so that you can make plans for reliable transportation.
2. Mind your manners when helping yourself to appetizers and other food. Use napkins and utensils to avoid grease covered hands when meeting and shaking hands with the other guests. Make sure to discard items in the proper trash containers.
3. Pay close attention to the attire description on the event invitation and dress appropriately. Leave that low cut, form fitting, overly sequined apparel at home and try a more conservative look. Avoid using too much cologne or fragrance. It might be a party, but it is being attended by your co-workers and not close personal friends or family.
4. Bring your spouse if you can. Sometimes companies will allow their employees to bring guests, other times this is not possible. All planning decisions were carefully weighed and legitimate reasons exist for these decisions, like accounting expenses.
5. If your company has an awards ceremony to recognize performance make sure you briefly thank everyone for the honor. Avoid pretending you are the recipient of a Grammy award, holding your glass award in the air and thanking God and your family. If you are a manager or member of a team make sure they are thanked as well.
6. Avoid sensitive topics like politics and religion. Leave the gossip, complaining and offensive jokes at home. Keep about work conversations brief and the mood light-hearted as everyone is here to have a good time. Compliment your co-workers and supervisors and if anyone is complaining or being rude, simply change the subject.
7. Say hello to your boss and your boss’s boss and take some time to get to know them. There isn’t always time to talk with them during office hours and parties give you a great opportunity to do so. This can help with promotions down the line.
8. Limit excessive personal time with one co-worker during the party and meet up for drinks after to avoid being the gossip next morning. Companies have different policies regarding personal relationships with co-workers and supervisors.
9. As a gesture of gratitude it is nice to bring a gift. If it’s a low-key party then bring a low-key gift. Your gift should have the same feel as the atmosphere of the party. Some ideas are a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a fruit basket.
10. Attendance is almost always mandatory and your absence will be noticed. Try to arrive within thirty minutes of the start time and make it a point to stay for a while as everyone remembers who only stayed for ten minutes. It is especially important for senior managers to be present and if they are not there at the beginning they should definitely be there at the end. Be mindful of how long you stay and don’t be the last to leave.
11. Remember to thank party hosts and organizers. You can’t go wrong with saying something nice about the event. If you really enjoyed the music, thought the food was delicious or found the detailed decorations to be amazing let your host know. They will appreciate it.
Keep these etiquette tips in mind while attending your corporate holiday party to ensure that you leave with a positive image. They will also help you avoid making embarrassing blunders that could easily give you a negative reputation.
Have a magnificent time and happy holidays!