CMI (Chartered Manager Institute) has conducted a survey of their members surrounding alcohol and work events, this hit the BBC headlines this week. The results suggest that a third of managers surveyed have seen sexual harassment at a work event where alcohol has been served implying that alcohol was seen to be a catalyst for the behaviour, whereas usually the behaviour wouldn’t be seen by those colleagues.
David D’Souza, from the human resources body of the CIPD, said that work social events may become even more important, with the rise of hybrid working.
“While they can, and should, be fun, organisations and leaders must not neglect their legal and ethical responsibilities to keep employees safe – obligations they have every single day in the workplace.”
Park City experience and advice
Park City Consulting recognises the survey results and the potential for unwanted behaviour associated with alcohol. However, our experience has always been that if line managers are trained and supported in their roles then they will be able to manage employee events where alcohol is served without any adverse outcomes. Accepting that the associated controls and company policies are in place and have been effectively communicated to all concerned.
It should also be noted that some managers felt that alcohol shouldn’t be part of social events for work colleagues due to the pressure that some employees can feel in having to have a drink. This should always be an employee’s choice of whether they wish to drink or not, and managers should step in if they witness employees trying to coax or encourage drinking where an employee doesn’t wish to participate.
Tim Price – Operations Manager at Park City said: ‘Line managers play a pivotal role not in managing people and operations day-to-day but also in supporting their team’s development and implementing HR and other organisational policies. It’s perhaps unsurprising then that line manager behaviour and how well they can demonstrate the values and standards set by their organisation will always have significant implications for the people that they manage’.
This further strengthens the need to train managers to a recognised level of competence, Park City continue to provide world-class management training through our Level 3 and 5 CMI Diplomas. For more information, visit our CMI hub here.
Park City provides comprehensive HR and employee relations services tailored to the needs of each business we work with. Our experienced and knowledgeable team is on hand 24/7 for our helpline service as well as providing our clients with a wide range of handbooks, policies, advice, and guidance. For more information about Park City’s HR services, visit our website here.