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Q&A: Why Employers Have Inclusive Holiday Parties

Question:

We want to host a Christmas party for our employees. One of our team members felt like we should call it a “Holiday Party” instead of a “Christmas Party.” As a privately-owned company, do we have a choice here?

Answer: Russell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, one of our HR Pros says…

There is no rule that you cannot have a “Christmas Party” instead of a “Holiday Party.” However, the practical and business-related idea behind hosting such an event is to show appreciation for your employees and establish a time for team-building and celebration. These events require a lot of planning, expense, and effort, and you typically only get a return on investment to the extent that employees feel they are celebrated, appreciated, and included.

Most employers, therefore, choose to host a single year-end holiday party or event that is inclusive of all the seasonal celebrations that their employees might observe between November and early January. Additionally, many employers solicit ideas from staff to get feedback about what would make the party great. What the event is called or how it is themed may seem relatively minor, but the name could be important to many staff members.

So while there is no obligation on your part to give an event one title over another, there are practical reasons why most employers decide to invest in a broad and inclusive holiday or year-end celebration for their staff.

 

Russell has over 13 years of union and non-union human resources experience, during 10 of which he has held regional and director level HR roles in the healthcare, hospitality, property management, and engineering industries. He holds a BA from Indiana University and is an HR Specialist honor graduate from the US Army’s Adjutant General School. Russell has been a member of SHRM since 2004 and has worked as a pro bono HR Consultant, supporting small non-profit organizations.

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