Year-end, the sweetest time for company parties and events. The organisers are buzzing; the reminders are out, the number of attendees looks promising, the venue is aware of special dietary restrictions. You, as a manager, have been informed that everything is under control.
Before you put your dancing shoes on though, there is one crucial issue to address, and it could not be more timely: company event etiquette. As they say, better safe than sorry! Let’s start with an easy one.
1. Be there. And be on time
Pretty simple, right? It is, however, rather common for people to ‘forget’ to attend. Well, don’t. Just don’t. Your team is expecting you to show up, no matter what. Some might be really looking forward to having a conversation with you outside of work. Don’t disappoint them! Not doing that could also be interpreted as belittling the efforts to put together the event and it will not be forgotten. Always show that you care. Oh, and yes, you don’t have to be the first one to arrive but don’t show up last just to make an appearance.
2. Be Present
Ok, you are not feeling in the mood to party, and wish you could be somewhere else, but still, don’t forget that someone has put a lot of effort into organising the event. As a manager, it should matter to you. Make sure you converse amicably with your colleagues. Don’t fake it, try to be in the moment.
3. Don’t exaggerate with the drinking
To break the ice and to have a good time, alcoholic beverages are the perfect ally. However, you have to remember enough is enough. Do loose up a little and enjoy, but responsibly. Alternate your wine or your cocktails with ample servings of water and eat the snacks. You do not want to be the office gossip and lose respect. Use your common sense, be classy.
4. Don’t talk to one person all night
It is natural to have few people that you feel comfortable spending time with, but avoid the urge to hang out with people you spend most of your time during your workdays at the event. Make an effort to mix up the group! Open the doors for others to meet those from different department! Remember that it is the time you could get to know your colleagues a little better on a personal level.
5. Avoid conversation killers
Keep it professional. Steer clear of political or religious discussions. Keep the conversation going on topics such as family, (but not on your recent divorce that ended up tragically), holiday plans, (but not to show off by telling about your next trip to Bora Bora), the weather (always safe). Share about exciting and relatable experiences, try to make it fun for everyone.
6. If you have to make a speech, be brief, say ‘Thank you’
The last thing your employees want is to listen to an hour-long speech at a party. Thank everyone for organising the event, and encourage the attendees to have a good time. Compliment on the venue, the food, the atmosphere, show your gratitude. That’s. It.
7. Put your phone away
For two reasons: one, you can check it later. Two, it shows tact towards your coworkers. They should be free to enjoy their evening, without fearing any repercussions that include compromising pictures. However, the same night or the next day, you should post a few lines about the successful evening you experienced together. Everyone will appreciate.
8. Check the rule for taking a’plus one’ to the event
Be sure to check the company policy on guests. Is the event ‘employees only’? or Will spouses, friends or plus-one also be appropriate? If yes, please let the person organizing know in advance. And also share some background information with your guest before the event; What kind of event it is, who she or he will meet and etc. While it might sound obvious, sharing about some details beforehand might save you from many uncomfortable situations.
9. Don’t talk about work all night
They see you every day. Can you not talk about work on Monday? If you need to talk about an urgent matter to someone, do it quickly and do it privately. Make time for work-related discussions another day. Now it’s time to celebrate! Encourage your team to turn off the ‘work-mode’ and learn about their passions, family and more!
10. Remember they are your colleague, your team
As a manager, be inspired by the way your coworkers behave when they are out of their office environment. The casual setting can give you new insights about your colleagues and your team. It could be an opportunity to learn more about you as a manager as well. A few drinks can open up the most introverted colleague, who feels relaxed enough to talk about an idea he didn’t get the chance to share about in the office. Don’t miss the opportunity to follow on those leads!
Any unforgettable or fun company event moment you would like to share with us? We would be happy to publish it! At HUONE we can help you with the next company event! Contact us!