13 Jun Serving Alcohol at your next company event? Here are 15 tips that Texas companies need to know.
Do you provide alcohol, beer, wine, or spirits, for employees to drink at work-related events? You want your employees to enjoy their work-related events and parties, but also want to keep your employees safe.
The Wall Street Journal recently cited a survey which revealed that 38% of adults had attended holiday parties where alcohol was not served. More business functions serve alcohol, however, with the alcohol provided by the business.
According to a SHRM survey, due to the improving economic climate nationally, more employers are holding office parties and more of them are serving alcohol.
Recommendation for Employers about Giving Alcohol
Adult beverages can perform a big role in company parties, but they can likewise play a big role in raising accidents and issues. Whether you are throwing a holiday bash, a company anniversary party, or just a Friday night “thanks for the hard work,” here are some guidelines that will keep you out of hot water and keep your employees safe.
– Discuss your company culture with employees pointing out that drinking in excess is inappropriate during company events. Involve alcohol usage guidance in your company code of conduct. Think about adding policies to distinguish between drinking at lunch and at meetings versus correctly drinking with a client or vendor in which the employee limits their selves to one drink.
– When organizing an event where you will be providing adult beverages, serve food, such as appetizers, from the start of the event to ensure that employees aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
– Decide offering a variety of interesting, non-alcoholic beverages, to remove the emphasis from alcohol. This can include things like Italian sodas, virgin cocktails, fresh squeezed juices and others.
– When hosting an event, don’t ever make eating or drinking the main focus of any event. Always offer some program or entertainment to set the focus out of the bar.
– Consider serving just beer and wine, no liquor. Always avoid serving drinks that limit an employee’s ability to assess how much alcohol they are drinking. Margaritas may be fun, but those sorts of drinks can mask the alcohol and can get employees into trouble without them even knowing they are.
– Reduce the number of drinks the company provides by making using of drink tickets or another informal method of tracking the amount of alcohol served.
– Limit the time that the bar is open. Providing drinks just at the mixer before the program or only afterwards can lessen the amount of drinking done over the space of a whole event.
– Always use trained bartenders to serve alcohol; never allow employees to serve other coworkers. Never provide a self-serve beverage bar that includes alcohol.
– Make sure your bartenders are clear that they are not to serve alcohol to any person who appears to be inebriated and make sure that you never serve alcohol to anyone who is underage.
– Consider paying for the event, the food, non-alcoholic drinks, and entertainment, but provide a cash bar for employees.
– Nix alcohol aside from beer and wine at company events that include any attendees under the age of 21. Family events are no place for booze.
– Deliver a late night snack buffet before employees hit the road to end a company event. It doesn’t have to be elaborate: tacos, sloppy joes, hot dogs, popcorn, cold cuts, cheese and crackers, coffee and soft drinks provide a focus other than alcoholic beverages.
– Remember that this is still a company event. Enlist key staffers in advance to keep their eyes open for employees who may be overindulging. Create a safe ride home program with a local motorcoach company, call a cab, or make sure that a designated non-drinking driver takes the wheel. Offer incentives to designated drivers who help get people safely home.
– Offer a safe ride home program in which you invest in a charter bus to take people home or to transit hubs where they can get a ride home or to a hotel. Look towards negotiating a discounted rate for a local hotel where people can go after the event as an alternative to going home and offer rides for free.
– Check out at your company insurances to determine whether you have the appropriate coverage.
Employee manuals are the perfect place for your company to spell out your alcohol policies both for parties and for normal courses of business. Responsible alcohol consumption is a culture that needs to start at the top.
Alcohol could be a cheery addition to any company party, but there are real legal, social, and corporate responsibilities that need to be allowed for. At company events, as in your workplace, employee safety should always be your primary concern.