One thing you can count on during the holiday season is the obligatory company party.
Many dealerships host them as a ‘tis-the-season to-be-jolly affair for their employees.
But there are certain rules of behavior for staffers to follow at the dealership holiday party if you want to have a dealership to go to when the party is over.
Accordingly, make sure you know the answers to these key questions:
- Do I have to go?
Don't consider not going unless you have a justifiable conflict. Ironically, the “party” is part of your job. It's to bring together co-workers for a bit of camaraderie and recognition. Some people love company holiday parties, others would give up a potential bonus to get out of attending. Even if it's not your idea of a great time, put on your best attitude and go. You might even have fun.
- How long should I stay?
You need to remain at least an hour or you will give the impression that your appearance was merely obligatory. Conversely, even if you're having a grand time, leave before the party time has elapsed.
- What should I wear?
If the event is immediately after work, your business attire is appropriate. If the party is later in the evening or on the weekend, your choices will vary depending on the type of event. Make sure that what you wear reflects well on you professionally. This is not the time to show up in your most revealing outfit.
- Is my family invited?
Not unless it says so on the invitation. If it says “and family,” then bring the kids. Otherwise hire the babysitter. Unless it says you “and spouse or guest,” show up alone.
- How much should I eat?
Whether the event is a reception with light hors d'oeuvres or a full buffet, keep moderation in mind. You are not there for the free food. You are there for the fellowship. The employee who goes through the buffet line first and takes all the food will not be remembered fondly.
- How much should I drink?
In moderation. Alcohol and business rarely mix well so limit how much you consume. Keep your wits about you because your conduct could have a direct bearing on your career's future. This is an opportunity to enhance your career, not demolish it in a chug-a-lug contest.
- Is it all right to dance on the table with a lampshade on my head?
Not at the dealership party, no matter how well it fits or what a great little dancer you are. Enjoy yourself, but keep in mind that it is still about business. Have fun. But make sure you don't have too much fun.
The holiday party is not the time to let down your hair or throw caution to the wind. What you say and do on Saturday night will live on for a long time in the minds of your associates. If your behavior is inappropriate, your career may be shorter than everyone else's memory. If you conduct yourself with charm and savvy, your rise up the ladder of success could pick up speed.
Lydia Ramsey is the author of “Manners that Sell — Adding the Polish that Builds Profits.” She's a speaker and trainer specializing in polishing professional etiquette skills to advance and achieve greater success. She's at www.mannersthatsell.com.