There are few things in our professional lives that provide a greater risk of peril with so few rewards than the annual office holiday party. To many workers, these contrived and tortuously staged attempts at mandatory good cheer are as welcomed as a holiday fruit cake.
Bah! I say get rid of them.
The justifications for the holiday party usually include a sincere expression of appreciation for employees' hard work throughout the year, or providing an opportunity for employees who rarely have contact with one another to meet in a "casual" environment. A closer look reveals flawed thinking. If the office holiday party is your way of telling employees you appreciate their hard work or your strategy for employee bonding, you've probably already failed.
Let's be honest, for many companies, the annual office holiday party is just another business function, wearing a party dress and sipping eggnog. Attendance usually is not mandatory, but miss it at your peril! And it's a little arrogant for supervisors to presume that employees want to spend time socializing with them.
I came across this soul-crushing list of office party "Dos & Don'ts" from Quintessential Careers, an HR consulting firm whose other titles include Surviving the Office Holiday Party. QC reminds us: "You can take advantage of the office party to have some fun and advance your career or misbehave and cripple your career."
Quintessential's tips include: