The streets are snowy, the malls are full of shoppers and a December dilemma has hit again. Should employers sponsor holiday parties, especially if they’ve suffered setbacks or have had to lay off employees this year?

There are many questions for companies to consider. How can they accommodate different religious and cultural traditions? What do they need to consider in terms of alcohol and liability? And if a big party isn’t in the cards, what are some other ways organizations can boost employee morale?

Have your say: Is your company having a holiday party this year?

While many companies have scaled back their festivities over the years, a new survey by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. suggests lots of them are continuing the annual tradition. The survey found 80 per cent of respondents were planning to have a holiday party this year, with 76 per cent saying they always do so. That was down slightly from 82 per cent of those that planned to hold a party last year, although the number of companies saying they always do so was significantly lower at 69 per cent in 2015. And the budgets are a bit looser this year, with 21 per cent of respondents saying they’ll spend more on their parties and almost 11 per cent saying they’ll budget less.

The issue is the topic of this week’s online poll: Is your company having an organization-wide holiday party this year? Or has it long jettisoned the big event in favour of gatherings of smaller business groups? Vote in this week’s poll and let us know how your organization celebrates the holidays in the comments section.

Read: When secret Santa meets Canada’s largest pension funds

As for last week’s poll on whether including pet food in benefits plans is a good use of resources, 96 per cent of respondents said plans should prioritize more pressing needs. Just four per cent said employers should accommodate staff members’ diverse needs, including those of pet owners.


Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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