TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - For many professionals, company parties are
predictable; but for those in the creative industry, these festivities can be
full of surprises. The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service
providing marketing, advertising, creative and web professionals on a project
basis, recently asked 250 advertising and marketing executives to describe the
most off-the-wall employee behaviour they'd heard of at a company event.
Those surveyed were asked, "What is the wackiest or most outrageous thing
you have heard of an employee doing at a company event, such as a picnic or
holiday party?" Here are some of their responses:
- "The president of our company came dressed up as a chicken."
- "One guy ate the carnations from our dinner table."
- "One colleague set another's wig on fire while it was on her head."
"Company events are meant to be fun, but employees must remember their
actions are still on display for coworkers and supervisors to see," said Dave
Willmer, executive director of The Creative Group. "Inappropriate behaviour
can make a lasting negative impression that's hard to overcome."
"Party fouls" involving company higher-ups, like the following, can be
particularly challenging to recover from:
- "Someone wrestled the CEO."
- "Someone dumped Gatorade on the boss."
- "One person did an unflattering imitation of the company president."
Food is frequently a draw at company festivities, but sometimes it can
leave a bad taste in coworkers' mouths:
- "Someone jumped into a bowl of Jell-O."
- "One employee ate 100 fish sticks to win a prize."
- "Someone started a food fight at a holiday party where everyone was
- "An employee fell into a cake at a company dinner."
Dressing up for a company soiree is part of the fun, and these party-goers
pulled out all of the stops:
- "One person came to a party dressed as a pirate."
- "An art director came with a live butterfly in her hair."
- "One employee came to the party dressed like a bear."
Finally, even if the party is a bust, it's best not to let your boredom
show, like the following guest:
- "An employee fell asleep in the bathroom of a restaurant and got
locked in after the restaurant closed. The police had to be called to
let the person out."
Willmer noted that office parties, no matter how festive, are still
business functions. "Any indication that you lack good judgment is a strike
against you professionally," he said. "Conversely, exhibiting strong social
graces can help position you for a potential leadership role."
The Creative Group offered the following tips for making a positive
impression at a holiday party:
- R.S.V.P. promptly. Failing to do so makes an immediate poor
- Dress the part. Avoid wearing anything that is too offbeat or
revealing. Find out what the dress code is, and follow it. If you're
unsure, check in with tenured staff who can fill you in.
- Mix it up. Strike up conversations with those outside of your usual
circle. Think beforehand about a few topics that are of broad
interest, such as recent movies you've seen or people's holiday
- Don't monopolize anyone's time. Most people want to mingle at
parties, so avoid extended conversations, particularly when talking
with managers, who may have many people they want to chat with during
- Eat a bite beforehand. Avoid coming to the party with an empty
stomach. A pre-party snack will help you focus your attention on
those around you, rather than the buffet table.
- Limit libations. Don't let alcohol impair your judgment. It's best
not to have more than one or two cocktails, or avoid drinking alcohol
- Help your guests be gracious. If you bring a spouse or partner to the
party, be sure to fill him or her in beforehand on topics to avoid
(e.g., the new policy nobody likes), and introduce your guest to
others who might have common interests.
- End on a high note. Don't be the first or last to leave, and thank
those who organized the event.
The Creative Group has offices in major markets across the United States
and in Canada, and offers online job search services at www.creativegroup.com.
For further information:
For further information: Jason Chapman, (416) 365-2010 extension 62070,