Food and alcohol seems to bring people together and, as with everything, too much can drive people apart. Especially in this time of year, HR Professionals and business owners are asking themselves, what are we going to do for our holiday party? Shall we serve food and alcohol in the workplace, or shall we just reserve a couple of tables in a restaurant?
Over the last 12 months I asked this question in our own application process. Can an employer have alcohol in the workplace? I received 136 applicants for our HR Consultant position(and happy to say that we hired Margaret Savoia). and 131 of them applied with a no. This was the easiest selection process I have ever had as I believe, Eat & Drink and Be Merry is the key for every workplace.
How can you keep the Eat & Drink in hand, so that everyone can Be Merry? Here 3 tips that will help you serve alcohol and food and get the best out of your employees!
Treat your employees as adults
We all know what too much is, and when working in a workplace you have to assume that your employees know as well. Explain it to to those you hire so they see you as an employer and not simply a friend. We expect you to understand how to eat, drink & be merry. Ask them to drink responsibly without being the parent who keeps telling the child over and over again to be careful. Tell your employees that they have the responsibility to keep an eye out for their co-workers, and to make sure that everyone has a great time in the right way.
Make cabs available
Make sure that employees know that they can call a cab if they drank alcohol. And let the company pay for it. Would you like to not worry at all? Give your holiday extra flair, and on the day of the party have a limo pick up all your employees from home. Talk about starting your workday with something fancy!
Treat it as normal
We have alcohol in our refrigerator, when you would like something to drink, you can grab it. Because of this, it is not used that often, and when it is people drink with moderation. No parties with drunken employees. That simple.
And what do you do when one employee does not behave? You can ask yourself the question: Do you want this employee on your team? Make sure that this person doesn’t have some underlying short term problems that need attention and address it if they do. If they can’t behave the way you expect and it isn’t something that can be fixed, don’t be afraid to take the next steps in removing them from your business. If they can’t behave themselves in a social environment, how are they when you putting them to work in a stressful situation? I have seen many situations when under performance and not being merry goes hand in hand. My advice during this holiday season might be better phrased as:
Eat, drink & Select your best staff.