The recent headlines about employees feeling pressurised to drink at Pernod Ricard is a timely reminder about the expectations we may be creating during the festive season.
Many organisations will want to reward employees with a Christmas event and there will be client entertainment to participate in too.
But no one should feel pressured to equate Christmas parties or client lunches with alcohol.
Where this happens, it is often symptomatic of wider cultural issues around pressure to “fit in” and to be accepted as part of a clique that “plays hard.” You don’t need to look much further than the Lloyds of London culture to see that drinking is often associated with old boys’ networks and behaviour that should have been left behind in the 80’s.
No organisation can claim to be inclusive in any sense, if there are these cliques being formed, excluding anyone who doesn’t fit the mould.
There are a number of pieces of recent research which suggest the new generation coming into the workplace are far less likely to drink. They are far more concerned about the values of the organisation and how these are demonstrated.
Organisations need to work harder to join the dots…. You simply can’t have a set of values that proclaim “respect” and “teamwork” if you are putting pressure on people to fit in in a certain way.
People should be valued for who they are and the work they do – not made to feel excluded because their choice of drink is an orange juice rather than a pint.
What are your managers doing to set the right expectations and tone for their teams this December and beyond?
For more information on how we can help organisations create truly inclusive workplaces and manage inappropriate behaviour please email or contact us on 01903 732 782.
The way we behave towards each other in the workplace has a direct impact on individual wellbeing, team performance and organisational results. This belief has underpinned our work at Focal Point for over 20 years and has never been more relevant. We are privileged to work with a huge variety of organisations wanting to get workplace behaviour and culture right - and to tackle the inappropriate behaviour that may get in the way of this. Supported by our fantastic team of facilitators and coaches, we are able to make a real difference to peoples’ lives as well as organisational performance. Having worked in both large businesses at management level and in 2 start ups at director level, I am able to combine hands on experience of growing and managing teams - and the associated challenges in creating the right culture - with over 20 years in learning and development. I hold the Certificate in Training Practice and am a member of CIPD. When I am not supporting clients or developing the Focal Point business, you will find me in a calming yoga class...