Why HR Shouldn’t Plan the Company Picnic or Holiday Party, Ever

Now that the holiday season is behind us, let’s look at one of my biggest pet peeves for HR practitioners. Many HR departments are sadly tasked with managing the company holiday party. If you are doing this now, delegate to someone else. When I was a senior human resources leader one of my first goals was to get my department out of the party planning business. You will never be respected as a business leader unless you do.

In the eyes of your co-workers, anyone can plan a party. It will take too much of your time that you should be spending doing real work, learning something productive or solving a worthwhile problem. In addition, you do not want to be associated with bad restaurant food, poor catering, or boorish employee behavior at these events.

So, how do you get out of this mess?

  • Delegate to someone in your department and distance yourself from it.
  • Form a committee of employees from around the company that can plan the party. Then run. Quickly.
  • If you have never had a company holiday party or picnic and someone asks you to plan one, say no!

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