The key to a successful office party is having a good time while maintaining your credibility. First things first-what should you wear to that office party? Make it simple and classy. For women, nothing gaudy, low cut, too short or holiday themed.
Going from office to office party can be as easy as changing up your accessories and donning a pair of heels. Look for easy ways to bring some fun into your business attire and yet maintain your professional image. Scarves are a great way to add some holiday colors. Slip out of your blazer and add a lovely wrap instead. Add a bit more makeup and you are good to go. For you men it's as simple as wearing a red tie to celebrate the festivities. Forget those cutesy ties with the reindeer or elves on them. Opt for classy and traditional.
Before you go to the party make sure you have a list of potential topics to discuss to break the ice. You do not want to discuss business. This is your opportunity to get to know your employees and or co-workers better. Don't choose any topics that could create a potential argument. As we all know politics and religion are out of bounds. Ask open ended questions that require a response other than "yes" or "no" and be sure to listen more than you talk.
Don't run the risk of losing your credibility by drinking too much. You don't want to leave the party with a lampshade on your head or come alone and leave with the boss or secretary. I don't want to make you nervous but remember you are being watched at all times. If you're an employee you are being watched closely by management and if you are management you are being watched just as closely by your employees.
Your behavior across the board is speaking volumes for you at all times so have fun but be aware. Never post a picture on any social media of anyone at your office party for any reason unless you have the permission of all parties involved. Never gossip or speak unfavorably of any of your coworkers in public. I assure you no matter how discreet you think you are being, you will regret it.
When it comes to handling yourself always step into the other person's shoes before you make a decision you might regret later.
Be sure to thank whoever hosted the party and all those in the wings who helped to make it a success. Continue to show your professionalism by thanking them with a hand-written note. I know it takes a bit more time but the message it sends is well worth the effort.
Speaking of notes and cards, make sure you buy quality. Your reputation is on the line. If you are sending holiday greeting cards to your business associates make sure you include a short handwritten message and always sign your name, even if your name is printed on the card. Always be sure to hand-write the address on the card or note and include titles such as Mr. John Smith vs. John Smith.
Gifts. To buy or not to buy that is the question. If you wish to give a gift to your boss let everyone pitch in and make it a group gift. Don't make it too extravagant and definitely do not make it too personal. Making a gift to a direct report is nice but if you do it for one do it for all. Choose non-personal items such as gift certificates, theater tickets, restaurant certificates, food items etc. If you wish to exchange gifts with your co-workers have a holiday grab bag so that everyone is included or else choose a time after work when you can get together with the few coworkers you wish to exchange gifts with. In this way no one feels slighted. Edible gifts are always a good bet.
When giving a gift to a customer or client call their company's HR Department to check on their rules regarding gifts. Avoid potential embarrassment by sending a gift that the customer or client is not able to accept. Make sure that if you receive a gift from an outside source that you let your management know about it as well.
This is also the season where many companies like to make charitable gifts. With regard to this, Emily Post states: "Many companies show their appreciation by giving a donation in the recipient's name. This is a win-win solution. The recipient is glad to be recognized; the company taking the donation makes its appreciation known; and both companies contribute to the greater good of society."
The Presentation Pros has many wonderful packages to choose from. We look forward to helping you choose the right package for your charitable donations.
Debbie Darling, ©2013 The Presentation Pros