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Holiday Do's and Don'ts

It’s that time of year again! As the weather starts to cool and the year draws closer to an end, planning for holiday parties is on the minds of many teams. Company holiday parties are a great opportunity for an organization to show their appreciation and gratitude as well as provide the platform to develop some comradery. However, as with many social events, it could blur the lines of work and play and lead to some potentially hazardous territory. Below are some common best practices to help navigate your celebration:


  • Welcome employee input in helping to plan the event

  • Make everybody feel included (e.g. be aware of allergies and special diets, religious practices, other personal commitments)

  • Set a dress code

  • Have a start and stop time (this will help in the pace of the event)

  • Remind managers that they have a responsibility to communicate, as a bystander, any inappropriate behavior

  • If providing a holiday gift, consider making it gender neutral (e.g. don’t assume men would prefer a blue gift and women would prefer pink)

  • Encourage conversation outside the scope of work

  • Encourage mingling outside of an employee’s own department or peer group

  • Encourage employees to take a cab or car service home


  • Use language which would otherwise not be appropriate for the workplace setting

  • Make attendance or group activities during the event mandatory

  • Dress in attire that would otherwise be inappropriate for the workplace setting

  • Participate in office hearsay

  • Engage in harassing behavior

  • Assume that everybody celebrates the same holiday

If you have any questions, please reach out to your HR representative.

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