Every employer wants to provide their team with a chance to unwind, have fun, and perhaps even build a little team unity—and a holiday party is a great way to check all three of those boxes. But even well-intentioned holiday parties can sometimes spiral out of control, especially when there is alcohol involved. And when the drinking gets out of hand, it’s all too easy for other behavioral issues to crop up—along with liability issues for the employer.
Does this mean it’s best to just not serve alcohol at all? Not necessarily. There are steps employers can take to encourage drinking in moderation. Here are just a few suggestions.
How Employers Can Curb Holiday Party Drinking
- Set expectations. There’s nothing wrong with talking to your employees up front, and reminding everyone—in a gentle and good-natured way—that certain behavioral standards still apply, even when you’re outside the office.
- Provide drink tickets. Allow each employee to have a certain number of vouchers, each one good for one drink—and once they’ve used their tickets, there’re done, plain and simple.
- Make employees pay for drinks. A cash bar will certainly help you moderate alcohol consumption!
- Limit the alcohol offerings. Something a lot of HR professionals recommend is offering a restricted alcohol menu—beer and wine, maybe, without any hard liquor to contend with.
- Provide festive alternatives. Some fun, holiday-centric, non-alcoholic cocktails can help people to buffer their drinking.
- Offer different activities. Make sure drinking isn’t central to the party. It should never feel like the main event. Provide other ways for people to have fun, work together on a volunteer project, or simply be entertained.
You don’t have to be a spoilsport or a buzzkill, but neither do you have to settle for reckless drinking at your company’s holiday gathering. Take some steps to curb drinking, while ensuring your team members still enjoy the festivities. And to learn more about catering options for your party, reach out to Mosteller Events.