Category Archives: Holidays

Good bye 2017 Hello 2018

Goodbye 2017!

Some of you may think that’s a good thing and others probably wish the year would continue. Regardless, everyone thinks the year is over. But, is it? Continue reading

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Business people holding 2017 sign

Happy 2017! What We’ve Learned and Where We’re Going

What a year it’s been! 2017 is almost at an end, and over its shoulder is 2018. Are you ready for it? Is your COMPANY ready for it? We’ve covered as many hot-button issues and burning questions about processes and HR best practices over this past year as we could, including solicitation (not THAT kind), identity theft, bullying, and even actual disasters. It makes sense to have covered such a variety of topics, especially after the year it’s been. It was our first full year under a new president, and a year that had many people asking, “How can we do a better job with our business’s human resources?” Continue reading

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happy woman holding a thank you sign

Thanksgiving: More Than Just Turkey Talk

Saying thanks. Giving thanks. We talk a lot about gratitude around the holidays, especially on Thanksgiving; but how far does the season spirit reach? Does it go beyond your dinner table and family? As an employer, it definitely benefits company morale to show your thanks for the people you work with every day. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to shower them with physical gifts—it could be an extra kind word or two in passing, or even telling them how appreciative you are of the work they do.

The point is that it pays to consider how you might be thankful for your employees and then communicate that to them. Continue reading

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office prank

5 Ways to Do April Fools’ Day at the Office

Most people enjoy laughter, especially when it happens at the office. Humor can lighten the mood and make the workday seem manageable when it might otherwise be dragging. April Fools’ Day presents a prime opportunity to inject laughter back into the office, but it can be easy to cross the line and have a prank turn into harassment. Continue reading

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coffee cup, notepad and laptop concept

Holidays at the Office: Remember That Not Everyone Celebrates…

When you think about work holidays, you might imagine Christmas parties or free vacation days; but the reality is, not everyone actively celebrates the holidays. While anyone can get behind taking a paid day off, they might not be as happy if holiday decorations and celebrations are happening at the office. It’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates Easter, Christmas, Halloween, etcetera—forgetting this could cause some employees to feel offended and uncomfortable. Continue reading

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happy employee with Christmas tree

One Holiday Too Many?

As we approach the busy holiday season, every business tries to have some cheery festivities. But with so many holidays, how do you choose what to celebrate and when? Everybody loves a little turkey and pumpkin pie…and some tailgating…and some challah bread…and maybe some Christmas carols and Kwanzaa dancing and New Year’s toasting. While it’s certainly important to take time to celebrate and relax as a business or organization, you need to find the right balance. We’ve asked Jonathan Segal, partner at Duane Morris, to share with us some wisdom for the holidays. Continue reading

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company holiday party

Holiday Fun or HR Under the Gun: Seven Keys to a Successful Season

December is always an interesting time of year for human resource professionals. While senior management is focusing on achieving year-end revenue goals and many employees are running ragged from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and beyond, those in charge of managing HR and payroll responsibilities are busy with year-end planning and making sure everything is in order before December 31st.

This is all the more reason why the last thing you want to confront is an unexpected crisis related to poor planning, bad behavior or something more serious during the holiday season. Here are some key steps you and your CEO can take to help ensure that you have smooth sailing between now and the New Year:

1. Alcohol – If you aren’t comfortable eliminating it entirely at company holiday parties, consider some other strategies such as having a cash bar; imposing a ticket-based limit on drinks per person; or changing the time of your event(s) to an earlier point in the day (lunchtime or afternoon, for example, rather than evening). In addition, always make sure you cut off the alcohol well in advance of the end of the party – and provide desserts and coffee too!

2. Behavior – Obviously, in almost every workplace the potential for business relationships to become personal always exists. But mixing alcohol, seasonal parties and a bit of the ‘holiday spirit’ can be a recipe for unwanted advances, inappropriate contact or worse. Make sure that your event(s) do not include activities that might encourage or provide a forum for this to unfold (a good example to ban is “mistletoe spots”).

3. Executives – Consider providing a briefing for the entire executive team reminding them that their behavior is the model by which others follow, reiterating what kinds of behavior are acceptable and unacceptable as well.

4. Conduct – Either send out an employee conduct reminder to everyone, or have department heads brief their teams. This may seem like ‘buzz-kill’ but then again, that’s precisely the point. Better to kill the buzz a bit rather than risk a raging inferno of miscommunication, allegations and potential misconduct.

5. Drama – Many company holiday parties have historically included skits or shows highlighting (and often mocking) the best and worst moments of the year. Just remember that those can quickly turn into disrespectful or discriminatory episodes about religion, race, marital status, pregnancy and more that can lead to direct legal consequences.

6. Faith – Companies can celebrate holiday events but it is ill-advised to allow anyone, even your CEO, to turn them into religious observances. Employees’ personal lives — including if and where they go to church, what belief(s) they may practice and so forth — are not things you should make assumptions about or preach to them on.

7. Attendance – Don’t forget that if you require employees to attend the holiday party (whether you directly state so or make it ‘functionally’ mandatory by, for example, only handing out bonuses at the event), then they must be compensated because it is an official company function that you are making a necessary part of their job. To avoid confusion in this area, make attendance optional and invite, don’t demand, their presence.

Remember, the one thing more important than a memorable party is a morning after with no regrets – for you, your executives or your employees. Make sure everyone has a good time within reasonable boundaries by setting the example and following through on it every step of the way. In doing so, you will help make sure that the entire company has a safe and successful holiday season.

Selected Sources:

Six Last-Minute Tips To Help HR Leaders To Avoid Holiday Party Lawsuits

Five Holiday Party Tips to Keep off HR’s Naughty List

5 Tips for HR to Help Employers Avoid Holiday Party-Related Legal Liability

Pro Tips: Five tips for avoiding holiday party-related lawsuits

Tips To Keep Your Workplace Holiday Parties Merry

Image Credit: lachiquita (Flickr @ Creative Commons)

This entry was posted on by HR Resolutions.