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No Cheer Without HR

It’s either the most wonderful time of the year or the most dreadful time of the year. Sometimes in HR, it’s hard to say. In addition to Open Enrollment activities for so many of us, some HR practitioners have the joyous task of holiday party planning. I did not type that in sarcasm font since I personally do not mind party planning, but I know it’s a sore subject for many! Anytime the subject of HR and party planning comes up, I hear a collective groan from my peers. I’ve heard you. I understand you. Still, I like decorating in tacky themes and getting paid for it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

That said, in the spirit of being a “seat at the table” kind of HR partner, whatever position we hold regarding party planning, we should go into it with what’s best in mind for the organization and the team members. There is a plethora of good advice and things to consider regarding holiday parties. Ask a Manager, Fortune, Forbes, Harvard Business Journal as well as SHRM have recently shared such advice.

Party planning or at a minimum party participation, can be an opportunity for HR practitioners to share of themselves as individuals rather than a set company role. This shouldn’t mean purely performative gestures. HR team members are still team members and shouldn’t be forced to take on anything unreasonably outside of their role or comfort level. For example, mandating an HR team member to do holiday karaoke in front of everyone when that’s not their thing isn’t going to win the employee engagement game. Still, being involved in bringing and sharing holiday cheer can do wonders for relationship building.

HR can facilitate holiday cheer by supporting, directing, and advising those leading the party planning effort. This could include overseeing party planning committees to ensure inclusive choices are made or advising leaders on compliance based best practices for company events. In the end, there truly is no cheer without HR. It’s right there in the word!

As for karaoke, I’m not sure “Last Christmas” by Wham is an option lest you send your coworkers to Whamhalla.

What holiday/Christmas song would you choose for karaoke?

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