Fewer Employers Will Cancel Office Holiday Parties in 2010

Nov 12, 2010
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Fewer Employers Will Cancel Office Holiday Parties in 2010

SHRM poll finds the same number of employers will plan holiday parties this year as in 2009, but fewer will cancel due to financial challenges

Alexandria, Va. – The number of employers planning to hold holiday parties in 2010 will remain the same as in 2009 (61 percent), according to ​a poll released today by t​​he Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The poll also shows fewer organizations plan to cancel parties due to the weak economy than did in 200​9.

The SHRM poll Holiday Parties in 2010? found that 60 percent of organizations will hold their holiday parties off-site this year compared to 50 percent last year, and 29 percent plan to hold their parties on-site. An additional 10 percent of employers will hold their parties on-site to save on the cost, down from 15 percent in 2009.

“After a couple years of cutbacks, the traditional out-of-the-office holiday party appears to be making a comeback, though many organizations are still being reasonably cost conscious in their plans,” said Mark Schmit, Ph.D., director of research at SHRM.

This year more organizations reported they do not have a practice of holding parties, suggesting companies that stopped holding parties due to financial constraints in 2009 are not planning to reinstate the events.

A second SHRM poll released today — “Alcohol at Work-Related Events Policies” — shows 21 percent of organizations have a formal policy prohibiting alcohol consumption at workplace events, such as office holiday parties, while 13 percent rely on an informal policy to restrict drinking at office functions.

Among those companies that allow drinking at work-related events, more rely on informal policies (25 percent) than formal policies (10 percent).

Roughly three in 10 HR professionals (27 percent) said they have no plans to create a policy on drinking at work-related events.

“While the majority of organizations do not prohibit drinking alcohol at work- related events, it is still a best practice to find creative ways to limit drinking to moderate levels,” said Schmit. “Although most organizations do not experience large problems occurring as a result of drinking at social work events, when there are problems, they can be extremely embarrassing or worse, deadly.”

Only six percent of HR professionals report having had to discipline an employee in the last 24 months for violating workplace alcohol consumption policies.

To read both polls, please visit: http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/

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About the Society for​ Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org. Follow us on Twitter at: SHRMPress.

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