HR Administration

Holiday Parties Gone Idled

By Joe Dixon

Nov. 25, 2015

Photo courtesy of Adobe

Taking a cue from the Grinch, fewer companies are hosting holiday parties for their employees than in 2012, according to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Thirty percent of respondents said no party was planned this year, a 13 percent increase from last year.

Some companies might have axed parties as a financial necessity during the recession, and others might have begun to think the idea is outdated.

“For some organizations, parties are a thing of the past,” said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs.

SHRM’s tally reflects a substantial drop from the figures produced by a 2014 survey from consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., which found 89 percent of companies were planning holiday parties the previous year, up from 82 percent in 2012 and just 68 percent in 2011.

But not all is lost. Although SHRM research shows the overall number of office parties is dwindling, 65 percent of respondents said they are still planning a party, and the companies celebrating are going big. According to the survey, 45 percent of organizations have a larger budget for their parties than five years ago, which might be a sign of the recovering economy or just plain ol’ holiday cheer.

To sweeten the deal, over half of companies surveyed said they will be serving alcohol, meaning egg nog enthusiasts won’t be disappointed, and 46 percent said prizes will be given out to employees during the party.

“The outlook for holiday cheer is promising,” Esen said.

Joe Dixon is a Workforce editorial intern. To comment, email editors@workforce.comFollow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

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