Your End of Year Party

Normally as the year comes to a close, some employers ‘appreciate’ their employees by hosting end of year parties where they take stock of how the year was and what they plan to do the following year while still giving employees the opportunity to let loose and have fun.

From my own personal observations and the feedback I have received from a couple of people, I have come up with a couple of what I call, ‘things to remember before you attend an end of year party’. I wish to emphasize that companies are different and each company has its own work ethics and culture. However, being a social event, it is important that these parties are not used to disrespect each other or the company and that’s why practicing these social etiquette will go a long way for any employee. The norm for such parties would be dining, free drinking and ofcourse a few speeches here and there so keep these in mind:

a. End of year parties are planned and so operate within a budget. Therefore, unless the employer asks you to bring company, avoid tagging along with a +1 and all your relatives. At the same time, if the employer approves for you to bring company, brief them in advance of how to behave at the party. Their behavior has a direct impact on you, especially after the party is done and everyone is now back at work. Do not let your company be a source of embarrassment and ridicule to you with your colleagues. If your employer offers free food and alcohol, do not hide them for consumption at home. There are instances where employees hide, especially the alcohol, even before the party starts. Stop embarrassing yourself.

b. Alcohol makes people very excited, sometimes very violent but free alcohol has a way of doing things to you that the alcohol you buy with your own money will not do. So then, if you’ve never taken alcohol before, this is not the right forum to test your drinking prowess. It never ends well. If you don’t know the brand, stay away from it but if you must, drink very cautiously. Overally, drink responsibly. Have a sober colleague, someone you trust and know can keep you in check, watch over you if you are a heavy drinker so that in the end, they can take or guide you home. I know of people who have untimely resigned from work right afterwards simply because they could not live with how they behaved during the end of year party.

c. Your boss is still your boss even at the end of year party. That they are courteous enough during the party to serve you a drink does not mean that you are now equals and you can now address them on a first name basis (if this has not been the existing culture). At the same time, using alcohol as a basis of inappropriately speaking to or dancing with your boss is not okay. I am aware of employees who are very honest in their ‘feedback’ when they are intoxicated, just be sure that what you are saying does not include insults. There is a very thin line between being honest and being disrespectful in this case.

d. Your colleagues will still be your colleagues after the party. Don’t use this, and again I’ll make reference to the alcohol, to insult everyone you work with because not everyone is intoxicated at this party and you cannot swallow back your words or actions afterwards. It is an opportunity to socialize and have fun, not disrespect one another. At the same time, there are employees who use such parties to sexually harass their colleagues. End of year party is still a company event and so, the sexual harassment policy still applies.

There are many more to take note of. I’m not saying that you need to turn up all boring and so, but it is important to remember that your employment life goes on even after the party. Do not let one event destroy the reputation you have spent your entire life building. Like my boss keeps saying, you will never finish all the alcohol in this world so stop trying to.

This season, go out, have fun, let loose and remember to behave yourself. Cheers to you, your family and colleagues for staying strong this year. Enjoy your party and God bless you!!!