At some companies, holiday parties are gone

Mitchell Hartman Dec 15, 2015
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At some companies, holiday parties are gone

Mitchell Hartman Dec 15, 2015
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According to a survey of HR managers nationwide by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 65 percent of organizations will put on an end-of-year or holiday party for all employees this year. Thirty percent say an end-of-year party is not an annual practice of the company. That is up from 17 percent that didn’t offer such a party in 2012.

“During and after the recession, some companies may have cut out their holiday parties,” said Evren Esen, survey director at SHRM. “Then they realized, ‘You know, this isn’t really that big of a deal. Employees weren’t asking for this, and maybe we didn’t have employees come that much before.’”

Evren said another reason end-of-year holiday parties are less popular with organizations now might be that HR departments are reassessing the riks involved. They want to celebrate their employees and give them some end-of-year perks, but not encourage drunkenness and other bad behavior at an after-hours party.

The SHRM survey finds that 59 percent of organizations that hold end-of-year parties will serve alcohol. Among those, approximately half will try to limit alcohol consumption by issuing drink tickets, having a drinks maximum, or serving only lower-alcohol wine and beer.

Julia Klein is CEO of C.H. Briggs, a building-supply company in Redding, Pennsylvania, with about 180 employees. She holds catered buffet lunches for each company location.

“Business is still tough out there, so we try to say a special thank you to our team, watch our budget, and be festive at the same time,” she said.

Check out the full report, “2015 End-of-Year/Holiday Activities” from the SHRM.

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