The Sackett Rules for your Annual Holiday Office Party

Oh, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, err, office party time! And you know what that means, inappropriate behavior and awkward moments! But don’t fear, Uncle Tim is here to save you with a few simple rules.

Each year at the greatest technical recruiting company on the planet, HRU Technical Resources, we throw an annual holiday party.  They’re kind of legendary and I can neither confirm nor deny that we have our party in a bar next to a strip club. Next to, not in.

As you can imagine, we’ve had to set up some rules over the years. Feel free to use these or adapt them for your own office party:

  • The company will pay for your ride home if you’ve been drinking. Don’t use the force, that only works if you’re a Jedi and no matter how much you drank, you’re not a Jedi.
  • Don’t talk shop, unless there’s money to be made, then talk all the shop you want.
  • If you don’t show up and claim you weren’t feeling well, but you were actually at work that day, we’ll basically make up stories about the real reason you decided not to show up.
  • Attendance isn’t mandatory, please don’t come if you don’t want to come. We want to have fun and if feel you have to be there for some odd reason, you’re not fun.
  • Former employees are welcome to attend unless I hate them, then don’t have them attend.
  • Don’t corner your boss when you’re drunk and ask for a raise, unless they hit on you in an inappropriate manner, then completely ask for a giant raise.
  • Talk the newbies. It sucks bringing your spouse or significant other to a company party and then no one pays attention to you. Go out of your way to involve the new folks into your conversation and get to know them.
  • Don’t be the last to show up, or the first to leave. Wait, what?
  • Drink all you want. Remember, everyone is always watching.
  • Don’t hook up with a co-worker at the party. None of us want to see that, at least wait until you get in your Uber and give the driver a show.
  • The company will pay for your ride home. Don’t be an idiot.

Many HR leaders and pros don’t feel it’s appropriate for a company to have a party and provide alcohol. I get it. I’m good either way, you have to know your culture and what they want and be willing to set limits.

I’ve worked in giant companies and small companies and all of those companies had holiday parties with alcohol. You’ll have issues. Be prepared on how you’ll handle them. Help your employees out before they get themselves in trouble.

I always felt it was my job as an HR leader to take on that role within the business. I didn’t want my leaders being the ‘bad’ guy, so I took on that role when it was time to pull someone aside. They appreciated and they knew I wouldn’t hold a grudge on the employee who maybe went a bit too far.

Have an enjoyable holiday office party season!


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