I love the holidays. I am probably one of the few HR people who will admit that, but it’s true. And what’s not to love? There is shopping and the lovely crowds of people all filled with the holiday spirit. The weather cools down to a nippy 70 degrees (here in Houston). I watch Love Actually with my wife, she watches Die Hard with me, and we both watch Elf with our son. And let’s not forget office holiday parties! Oh, that’s right, that is why HR people hate the holidays…
Everyone has a story about a holiday party going south, and HR people are no exception, though I can honestly say that I have been luckier than most of my colleagues in the HR profession. That doesn’t mean that I don’t cringe just a little when I attend these things. The reason is that while it is not “work”, it is still a “work sponsored function,” and that means that most of the rules still apply. So here’s some quick advice so we can all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or just enjoy the free days off if we don’t have a holiday to celebrate or I missed yours:
Managers: if you see someone getting a little too loose, you have got to reign that in right then, hear me? It doesn’t matter if it is a group dinner at Chili’s and you haven’t gotten past the chips and queso, your manager hat never comes off. I get it, you don’t want to ruin the holiday spirit, or maybe you are just planning to leave that to the HR Grinch to handle on Monday. Well, here’s the skinny: that HR Grinch may pay you a visit as well if you didn’t handle your own mess and subsequently put the company at risk because you didn’t want to dampen the mood. So, if someone starts acting a little silly, pull them aside and nip that in the bud (and maybe call them a cab).
Non-Managers: have fun, but remember this is still a work event, regardless of where it is held. Have fun, enjoy the food, drinks and general merriment, but if you want to get sloshed and act like a complete fool – save it for another party.
And to my HR Peeps: remember, it could always be worse – Die Hard happened during an office Christmas party. “Yippie Kia-Yay, HR Manager!”