One In Four Businesses Say Bah Humbug To The Christmas Party This Year

A quarter of organisations are refusing to hold a Christmas party, missing out on the chance to reward staff and build teams.

  • A quarter of organisations have decided not to have a Christmas party this year
  • 8 out of 10 people have seen colleagues behave inappropriately at their seasonal shindig
  • Two thirds of employees see their office Christmas party as a valuable chance to network and build relationships

A quarter of organisations will not be throwing a Christmas party for staff this year, according to a survey of just under 2,000 employees conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). This is despite two thirds (66%) of employees identifying their Christmas party as a valuable opportunity to build relationships with their colleagues.

This Scrooge-like attitude to Christmas parties may be fuelled by concerns over employees’ booze-fuelled behaviour. Over two thirds of respondents had seen colleagues drink too much, and 30% admitted they had personally struggled into work with a hangover the morning after. In total 80% of people had witnessed inappropriate behaviour at the staff Christmas party, including kissing a colleague (35%), shouting and aggression (30%) and rudeness (28%).

Done properly, the Christmas party can be a positive experience for everyone. One in four employees (26%) felt the Christmas party had positively impacted their career. Two thirds of workers say one of the key benefits of a Christmas party is to improve colleague relationships, and the same number value the opportunity to get to know each other.

Over half of office partygoers are expected to help cover the cost of festivities, with an average employee contribution of £23. Those employers who are holding a party this year will pay an average of £35 per head.

Kate Cooper, Head of Research and Policy at ILM, commented: “Our survey shows people really look forward to their Christmas parties, both as an opportunity to develop relationships with people across an organisation and to celebrate and look back on the past year. So much so that many employees happily contribute their own money to make sure they can have a celebration.

“Christmas parties are an important and eagerly anticipated reward for staff and an opportunity for employers to show how much you value them, so they are worth investing in. However there are many potential pitfalls, mostly associated with excessive alcohol consumption. Taking care to limit the amount of alcohol available and to communicate the rules of behaviour will help ensure parties are a cause for celebration and not a headache for all.”