Office-Party Behavior Affects Career Advancement

December 4, 2009

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Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Media & Entertainment | Trade Shows & Events

Nine out of 10 advertising and marketing executives (92%) in the US believe that workers’ office-party decorum can affect their career prospects – either positively or negatively, according to a recent survey by marketing staffing firm The Creative Group.

When the senior-level managers in the survey were asked about the extent to which they thought an employee’s behavior at an office holiday party could affect advancement possibilities, 44% said “greatly” and 48% said “somewhat.” Only 8% said “not at all.”


The Creative Group said the results of the survey provide clear indication that managers are paying attention to how employees behave at their company’s holiday events. “Santa isn’t the only one making a list of naughty and nice this holiday season,” the firm stated in a press release.

While it’s always good to avoid unruly or inappropriate behavior, there may be opportunities for employees to make the right impression at holiday events, the firm added.

“There often are many influential people in the room at office holiday parties,” noted Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “Although these gatherings can be festive, it’s important to keep in mind that they are still work events. You want to exhibit poise and good judgment throughout, no matter how casual the celebration may seem.”

In a positive vein, Farrugia note that office holiday parties are an opportune time to network within your company. “In many businesses, there may be few chances to mingle with corporate executives and others throughout the organization,” she said. “Employees should use these events to form positive connections with colleagues outside their usual circle.”

The Creative Group suggests the following five tips for holiday party behavior:

  1. Show good manners: RSVP promptly, arrive on time and thank the host.
  2. Bring good tidings: Go out of your way to chat with coworkers from other departments and be friendly to other guests who might be at the event.
  3. Avoid the Grinches: Don’t spend too much time with the bah-humbug types to avoid ‘guilt by association.’
  4. Be jolly, but not too jolly: Though most people know? too many cocktails is a recipe for disaster, it doesn’t stop them from overindulging. Limit alcohol intake, and don’t pressure others who choose to abstain.
  5. Wrap up on a high note: Don’t be the first or last to leave the party. When leaving, thank the host. Later, send an email to show appreciation.

About the study: Conducted by an outside research firm, the study is based on 250 telephone interviews – 125 with advertising executives randomly selected from the nation’s 2,000 largest advertising agencies and 125 with senior marketing executives randomly selected from the nation’s 2,000 largest corporations.

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