Up front apologies if this blog entry is a little downer … but it needs to be said!
At this time of year companies have parties for their staff and clients. They are a way to say thank you, to promote a team atmosphere and allow people to network in a more relaxed way.
Some parties are more elaborate than others, some will have open bars and some will restrict the free flow of alcohol … which in 2013 is the sensible approach, because (a) of company risk but more importantly (b) because there have been too many cases where alcohol caused issues as simple as embarrassed employees and as terrible as people dying.
So … as we head into party season here are a few thoughts for you:
1. Remember that these company sponsored events are “business events” … so do not embarrass yourself.
2. Free alcohol, in this kind of environment does NOT mean drink as much as you can … see point #1.
3. Companies have a legal responsibility for the safety of their employees. They will likely restrict the number of free drinks, keep an eye out to ensure their staff are safe and will not take kindly if you get “hammered”. Be prudent … over indulgence can be a CLM (career limiting move).
4. Look out for your colleagues. Don’t let them get into unsafe situations … alcohol makes us less cautious, can increase aggression and creates a perfect storm for all kinds of potential problems.
5. If you are management, set the right example.
6. Do NOT drink and drive! There are always options and any option is better than drinking and driving.
7. The consequences of an accident can be far reaching … do not put your family through the pain of a late night call from the police or the hospital!
8. It is possible to have fun without over indulging in alcohol, and without making an ass of yourself in front of your boss.
9. If you want to over indulge, do it in your own safe environment with your friends or family.
10. Build your personal brand … enjoy yourself, but don’t hurt your professional image by “losing it”.