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Susan M. Heathfield

To Drink or Not to Drink - Not

By December 11, 2012

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According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), in their annual survey, 72% of employers will hold holiday parties in 2012, compared with 68% in 2011 and 61% in 2009 and 2010.

SHRM says that 61% of these employers plan to serve alcohol at their holiday or end-of-year parties this year. Half of employers (51%) will regulate alcohol consumption through methods such as providing drink tickets or a drink maximum (57%), serving only certain types of alcohol (42%), or having a cash bar (25%).

Office Party Gaffes Affect Careers

In response to this office party conundrum, my readers have confirmed my suspicions. The majority of the holiday office party gaffes that occur described by readers are fueled by too much alcohol drinking.

Some readers are telling tales about themselves, and their, usually early career, mishaps. In fact, if people didn't drink, and in some cases, didn't talk, there would be no holiday blunders worth telling about. How bad is that?

I have written about drinking at office holiday parties in the past. They are a particularly poor stage for bad behavior as your coworkers never forget and your actions may well affect your career in the future.

People act subconsciously. You won't see a manager look at a promotional opportunity and say, "Well, Mary was so drunk at the office party, how can we ever be sure that she will exhibit good judgment on these accounts."

While a manager can think these thoughts, it's more likely that the decision maker is subtly affected by the bad behavior. Mary won't get the job and she will never know exactly why - but, she may suspect.

If you don't want to burn bridges this holiday season, set two glasses of wine or two beers as your limit. A client company's employees schedule a monthly event called 2BeerFriday so that people attending understand the expectations and don't overdo the drinking.

If good sense doesn't control your party behavior, perhaps peer pressure will. One can only hope that each employee takes personal responsibility for their office party behavior.

Do read the article for examples of ways to minimize the impact of alcohol at your office holiday events. Be safe; be smart. Enjoy each other without the alcohol crutch this holiday season.

Image Copyright Ekaterina Monakhova

Favorite Quotes - More Quotes

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." --Friedrich Nietzsche

For this holiday season and always, be the one who hears the music.

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