Ask A Manager’s Allison Green has put together a list of do’s and don’ts for managers organizing holiday parties for their employees.
We figure that any manager that violates any of these guidelines is setting you up for an unpleasant experience.
Warning flag number one: the party is mandatory, Green writes. “Some staffers truly don’t enjoy these sorts of functions, and that’s okay. Requiring their presence under the guise of giving them a treat will hurt morale, not build it.”
Warning flag number two: requiring some employees to work at the party (either because their job is deemed “crucial” or because managers have roped them into doing the coat check).
There are a number of other ones, which you should read, including “Do not throw a company party on a boat” (hell, let’s extend this to “do not throw any kind of party on a boat,” and this is coming from experience with a “three-hour tour” that went horribly wrong) but one final thought from Green which should particularly apply to the media industry:
If your company is going through cutbacks but throwing a huge, lavish party…..not a good idea. Though it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll be more bummed by going to the party and seeing how your company’s money’s being spent or by boycotting it entirely. These things do get rather lavish, of course—only last night we were hearing a story of a certain newspaper’s party from a few years ago, where Wellington-clad servers poured Champagne from their stance inside the venue’s fountain. Last year, we hear that splashy parties made a comeback, at least among the magazine industry, but the industry is still in quite a bit of turmoil, so we’ll just have to see how 2011 shakes out.