It is time for the annual Reputation destruction event again – the annual Office Party!
How many people have you not seen over the years who manage to destroy their hard-earned reputations at the office party!
Ok! Jokes aside.
From an reputational perspective there are a couple of dangers inherent in the annual XMas office party.
Will you be serving alcoholic beverages? Will this be on the company’s account? If so, your organisation face danger.
- For instance, what would happen if an employee drinks too much and becomes abusive? What then?
- What happens if an employee drinks too much and has an accident on the way home?
- What happens if an employee goes home and verbally and physically abuse his or her family?
I would hate for the following to happen. This essential TAC Campaign YouTube video is not for sensitive viewers and is a rude awakening for what can happen on the way home from any event.
Watch it and give it a thought. How can you plan an office party that will be exciting and safe?
A Few years ago someone was paralysed when they dove into a swimming pool during an event. This had huge implications for the company, both from a legal and a human resources point of view. Some managers believe that they can transfer this risk through legal documentation, such as getting staff to sign that when they go on an outing that they assume the risk.
The problem about Reputation, is that it cannot be outsourced nor covered through legal frameworks and paper arrangements. A Company’s name will be mentioned in a negative light.
Now the company could argue in a court of law that getting home is an employee’s own indaba and that according to the Occupational Health & Safety Act that they are not responsible, but indirectly they will be.
The company could argue that they are not responsible for clearing the world of social ills.
But can they?
These days stakeholders will scrutinise all actions, performance, behaviour and intent, and it will be even worse if a company’s marketing documents reflect that they state they are a responsible employer and corporate citizen and losing in a court of public opinion can have far more damage than winning in a court of law.
Questions could be raised that could damage the organizations’ reputation:
– Like why did you serve alcohol without adequate controls and safeguards? As a responsible citizen, why did you not think through the whole process, etc.?
I am not trying to be a stick in the mud, but corporate reputation is an important asset and huge risk. I would suggest that you perhaps rethink how you will handle the annual party.
You could always use this test with managers and staff, but I do not think it will pass the efficacy test.