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Small Business Digest


Holiday Parties Are Here To Stay With Some Caveats

The jury is still out on whether holiday parties are beneficial.

Yet, seven out of ten employers sponsor such events.

According to a survey administered by Public Policy Polling, “company holiday parties can be a mixed bag.

While some employers and employees find them fun and rewarding, others may feel less than enthusiastic. Though combining work, social life, and high spirits can be a tricky endeavor, survey results say most companies are getting it right.

Among the results of survey were:

  • 71 percent of responding firms usually offer holiday parties,


  • 29 percent of employers don’t offer a holiday party at all.  


  • 41 percent typically offer gifts or bonuses at the party
  • 31 percent recognize employees with awards or certificates at the party.
  • 40 percent extending invitations to employees
  • 28 percent of employers choose to make it a family affair
  • 54 percent don’t serve alcohol at company parties at all
  • 39 percent of employers utilize policies or rules to keep behavior and/or alcohol consumption in check
  • 10 percent of responding employees reported regretting something they said or did at a company party

Some companies use holiday parties to recognize employees and offer rewards for hard work. Survey results indicate.

The poll results indicate that most people who attend the party are there because they choose to be—the majority of employees surveyed report feeling no pressure or expectations regarding attendance. 

Holiday parties are intended to celebrate and support employees for their hard work, but employers need to keep in mind that safety and liability are legitimate concerns here,” says Dean Debnam, chief executive officer at Workplace Options.

Debnam says “employers can encourage a good, yet safe time by making conservative choices about alcohol. It’s also important to set expectations for behavior by reminding employees that it is still a work function, where behavior is being observed.”

The national survey was conducted by the North Carolina firm of Public Policy Polling, November 1-4, 2013. The survey polled 573 working Americans and has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent. View complete poll results HERE.

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