It's party time: How does your company compare?

End-of-year parties appear to be back in full swing, and a couple of surveys indicate that companies are also prioritizing charitable giving. Find out what other HR departments around the nation have in store for the holiday season.

It's party time: How does your company compare?

Offices appear to be at their merriest since 1997, according to executive search firm Battalia Winston.

Now in its 25th year, the annual survey of US companies revealed 96% of organizations surveyed intended to celebrate the festive season with a party – up from 91% last year, and a mere 74% in 2011.

However, a conflicting survey from the Society for Human Resource Management indicates that the figure may be closer to 66%.

“Our findings reflect an increasing confidence in the economy," said CEO Dale Winston. "Although only 6% of those having parties are having more lavish events. The parties are back but the champagne and caviar are no longer flowing.”

“We believe this year’s results reflect stability,” said Winston. “We hope this indicates increased confidence and perhaps at some point we might even ‘pop the bubbly’ again.”

Prioritizing employee morale

  • 66% of companies surveyed have planned to take deliberate steps to improve morale in 2014
  • 54% will donate money or goods to charity this holiday season
  • 72% of parties will serve alcoholic beverages
  • 18% of parties will also include families of employees
  • 19% will give all employees a non-performance-based end-of-year bonus
  • 32% will offer all employees a non-monetary gift

Finally , if you are throwing a Christmas bash this year, here are five top tips that every HR manager should consider before opening the party doors:

  • The night should be premised as a celebration of team efforts for the year Before your Christmas party, make sure all your staff are informed of the appropriate standard of behaviour expected of them. It is worthwhile reiterating your discrimination and harassment policy to all staff in the weeks leading up to your Christmas party and making it an item at all staff meetings. If you are concerned about big drunken nights out, then perhaps hold a lunchtime party for work colleagues and make it a family affair by inviting partners and kids along – people are less likely to drink to excess and get rowdy around children
  • Ensure there are good transport options for everyone to get home safely If you’ve removed anyone from the party for being too drunk, make sure you call them a cab and make sure they get into it and are capable of giving their address to the driver
  • Ensure managers are acting responsibly While it is a celebration for your managers as much as it is for the rest of your team, it is worthwhile reminding your managers to act in a professional capacity during the evening and to help supervise the event. Managers and supervisors also need to be trained so that they know their obligations and responsibilities and can prepare themselves to deal with any issues that may arise
  • Place emphasis on the responsible consumption of alcohol Ensure the evening is fun and inclusive by considering things like appropriate catering and entertainment which is inclusive of all staff members’ values and beliefs
  • Consider dietary requirements You should ensure that your catering is appropriate for a multicultural team and making available vegetarian, vegan and celiac options

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