Inviting non-employees to company events

Should invitations be extended to employees’ friends and families?
By Brian Kreissl
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/17/2016

Question: A number of our employees have approached us saying they would like to bring a guest or partner with them to company social gatherings, retreats and awards ceremonies. This can be a bit awkward. What are best practices relating to the extension of invitations to non-employees for events?

Answer: The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors, including the nature, purpose, timing, duration, location and costs of the event and the policies, resources, culture and values of the organization. It also depends on whether the event is being held during work time or after hours and whether it is held on the premises or off-site.

While a holiday party is probably the type of event where employees should be allowed to bring a guest and an off-site working session is likely best limited to employees, a team-building event held during working hours would likely best be restricted to employees only. In fact, anything purely work-related, informational or confidential in nature should probably be limited to internal attendees.