Thursday, December 06, 2007

Biggest Holiday Party Taboos

I just read this....

Top 10 Holiday Party Offenses
By Rachel Zupek, writer
No matter who you are, where you work or what you do for a living, somebody in your company dreads the annual holiday party.
Employees think the company party imposes on their free time during an already busy season, says J.T. O’Donnell, career expert and co-author of the nationally syndicated weekly column, “J.T. and Dale Talk Jobs.” Workers aren’t paid to go; they’d rather see the amount of money being spent on the party divided into bonus checks; and their definition of "party" means letting loose and being themselves with friends – not acting professional to gain the respect of their co-workers.
“[Americans] place more emphasis on our careers as a way to define ourselves personally,” O’Donnell says. “At any corporate-sponsored event, we must keep in mind – even if it is begrudgingly – that we must think about our actions and the impact they can have, both positively and negatively, on our careers.”
Unfortunately, this fact is lost on some employees. According to a recent study, 36 percent of employers reported such behavioral problems as excessive drinking, off-color jokes, sexual advances and fistfights at last year’s company party. Fifteen percent of employees who engaged in inappropriate behavior reported a negative impact on his or her career growth.
When work is bad, life is bad, so don’t take any risks this holiday season. Here are the top 10 offenses to avoid at this year’s company holiday bash.
1. Assuming you aren’t required to go.Unless you’ve got an unbelievably good reason, you need to attend. Not attending speaks volumes about your attitude toward the company.
“If you can’t appreciate what the company is doing to celebrate the holidays and its efforts to make you feel like a part of their family, then you send a clear message that you don’t put much stock in the employee-employer relationship,” O’Donnell says.
If you absolutely can’t go, let management know in advance and give specific reasons why not.

2. Dressing inappropriately.Don’t dress as if you were going to a club or trolling for dates, O’Donnell says. Even if you’re hittin’ the town later, you still need to dress properly for the party.
“Maybe you’re known for being very stylish in your private life, but when it comes to a work function, it’s better to blend in as opposed to making a statement that might get misinterpreted,” she says.
If you show up and realize you aren’t dressed appropriately, try to make light of it. Better to acknowledge it’s not acceptable than pretend that it is.
3. Attending on an empty stomach.Holiday events typically involve drinks and appetizers before the meal. But, appetizers often don’t make it all the way through the crowd, O’Donnell says. It’s better to get some food in your stomach prior to the event so your first drink doesn’t go straight to your head.
“If you’re feeling ‘warm and fuzzy’ and realize you haven’t eaten in hours, put the drink down, switch to water and find some food,” she suggests.

4. Pitching ideas to upper management.Some folks view the company party as a way to schmooze the higher-ups or tell them their grand plans to save the company.
“While managers do use these events to meet and spend time with employees they don’t regularly come in contact with, they aren’t looking to strategize on work,” O’Donnell says. “Keep the talk to lighter subjects. There’s nothing worse than a brown-nosing badger to ruin a manager’s evening.”

5. Getting drunk!Seventy percent of companies are serving alcohol at their holiday parties this year, a 15 percent drop from last year, according to a recent survey.
There’s a reason for this, people!
Bottom line: Don’t drink excessively at the holiday party. You’ll end up saying or doing something you’ll regret.

6. Hooking up!Co-workers secretly harboring feelings for each other often think it’s OK to act on those feeling at the holiday event, O’Donnell says. Not so.
“It’s important to act like you do at work. You’re not paid to get cozy on the job, and the holiday party is an extension of your job,” she says.
Keep your distance until after the event when you can have some privacy.

7. Bringing a ‘crazy’ date.If your spouse or date is known as the ‘life of the party,’ there’s a chance he or she will make the night unforgettable – and not in a good way, O’Donnell says.
“Some people think, ‘It shouldn’t matter how they act, as long as I act OK,’” she says. “You’re guilty by association.”
Don’t give employers any reason to wonder if you aren’t as you appear on the job. If your date starts to make a scene, cut the night short.

8. Being a ‘Scrooge.’Don’t be a Debbie Downer and walk around with a scowl on your face, O’Donnell says. If you aren’t excited to be there, keep your thoughts to yourself.
“These events are meant to give employees an opportunity to connect on a personal level so they can relate to one another at work,” she says. “You don’t have to overdo it, but you have to at least do it.”
Check your negativity at the door, put on a smile and socialize.

9. Not using your best table manners.It seems obvious, but for many, manners go out the door after business hours – especially with a drink in hand, O’Donnell says. No swearing, chew with your mouth closed and remember to say “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me.”

10. “Dirty dancing” or executing “athletic displays.”“Even though krumping, bumping and grinding are all the rage, these moves have no place on the corporate dance floor,” O’Donnell advises. “Moreover, back flips, splits, jumps and spins can only lead to disaster.”
Keep moves clean and in control. Even if folks are begging for you to dance, O’Donnell says, keep in mind that everyone loves to watch other people embarrass themselves.

1 comment:

Caes said...

Well, these are all well and good for parties, but what if there is also a meal at the party, more information on table manners is needed:

For example in America:
"Often “Grace” or a prayer is said at the beginning of meals, and everyone is expected to participate. If you’re uncomfortable with this, it isn’t impolite to excuse yourself from the table, muttering threats under your breath while fingering a switchblade."