OK, so everyone knows not to get rip-roaring drunk at the holiday party (not that everyone complies with that most basic rule), but if you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to have an office celebration this year, you want your staffers to sidestep some of the landmines out there.
And there are plenty of them.
With serious consequences: 15% of companies recently surveyed said an employee’s behavior at a holiday party has impacted his or her career growth at the company. And it’s usually not for the better.
Take a look at some of the less obvious but still loaded behaviors as well as how to avoid them. That way nothing comes back to reflect poorly on the employees themselves or Finance.
Pass (on) the hors d’ouvres!
Yes, eat drink and be merry is practically the holiday party motto. But while most of your people know to watch how many cocktails they throw back, they’re not quite as careful with the canapés. Bellying up to the buffet and setting up camp isn’t necessarily the best move. And a finance staffer juggling hands-full of greasy finger food is hardly ready to shake the hand of the Exec VP you’ve been looking forward to introducing him to.
Timing is everything
No one wants to be the first one to the party (best not to arrive more than 30 minutes in, though). But you probably shouldn’t be shutting the place down. These days, etiquette experts recommend staying approximately an hour at a work holiday party. You probably don’t have to follow that to the minute. But the last thing you want is to be looking for a member of your team who isn’t there. And urge staffers to make their best efforts to be there.
Get the hook
It’s great when you can get staffers to mix and mingle outside of the same groups they normally socialize with every day. And you certainly want to encourage your people to chat up some new folks in new departments. But monopolizing someone’s (especially a key exec’s) time is a major faux-pas. And the exec will likely be too polite to make that known. Best bet: keep all holiday party conversations to a maximum of five minutes. That’s plenty of time to make a great impression for your Finance department.