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December 8, 2008

HR Fact Monday: Bah Humbug! Christmas Party Takes a Holiday

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: , 11:54 am

Who says Paul is the only one with access to all the meaty HR workplace and trends data . . . Just in time for the holidays I submit the following bit of office trend information that many of you can file in the “tell us something we don’t already know” folder.

Across the nation, companies are canceling annual end-of-the-year holiday bashes to cut costs, or in some cases just to blend in with the rest of a world that’s too worried about money to feel like a party. The trend is having a ripple effect on caterers and event coordinators who say that calls canceling parties have spiked in the past few weeks.

Two annual holiday-party surveys back up anecdotal evidence that a record number of companies have dropped holiday parties this year—more even than in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist bombings—while others are scaling back how much they spend, what they serve or how many people they invite.

In its survey of 100 companies, outplacement consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. found that 23 percent of companies elected not to host a holiday party this year, compared with only 10 percent in 2007. New York executive search firm Battalia Winston Amrop found in its survey of 108 firms that 19 percent will forgo a party this year, the highest percentage in the poll’s 20-year history.

And in a separate study of more than 1,200 executives by Towers Perrin, 58 percent of all organizations polled acknowledge they are somewhat or very likely to scale back this year’s holiday party and other employee events to save money.

Source:, Michelle Rafter


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