1 in 3 Quebec employees reluctant to attend office Christmas party: Survey

But nearly one-half see party as important form of recognition

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea of an office Christmas party. More than one-third (34 per cent) of Quebec employees said they consider the holiday party to be an obligation (13 per cent) or they thought it had outlived its usefulness (21 per cent), according to a survey by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés (CRHA) which polled 509 Quebec employees.

However, 47 per cent of respondents see the party as a form of recognition that they appreciate and 19 per cent view it as the best opportunity of the year to forge better relations with their co-workers.

This year, 61 per cent of employees reported that their workplace will be hosting a Christmas party, versus 76 per cent in 2008, found the survey.

“The economy hasn’t yet returned to pre-recession levels, but it is doing better than in 2008. And given that it’s more important than ever to recognize employees’ contribution, it’s unclear why many employers aren’t organizing a party this year,” said Florent Francoeur, president and CEO of CRHA.

Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of respondents in the Quebec City region indicated they will be having a Christmas party, compared to 56 per cent in the Montreal area and 65 per cent in other regions of the province, found the survey.

As well, 36 per cent of employees in the Quebec City area think the party is an opportunity to strengthen team spirit in the workplace, an opinion shared by only 17 per cent of workers in the Montreal region.

As for limiting alcohol intake, 40 per cent of respondents who will be having a Christmas party at work said that their employer will be taking steps to prevent incidents triggered by excessive alcohol consumption.

Most university-educated employees in Quebec (80 per cent) will enjoy an office Christmas party this year, compared to 52 per cent of less educated employees. However, university graduates also constitute the group that includes the biggest percentage of those who feel obliged to attend the festivities (19 per cent). Only nine per cent of less educated workers feel this obligation, while 54 per cent of them reported that they considered the event a form of recognition (versus 34 per cent of those with higher education levels), found the survey.

“It’s a shame that many employers neglect this opportunity not only to promote closer relations between their employees, but also to recognize their workforce’s contribution to the organization. The Christmas party is a chance to thank employees and managers that underestimate its impact are making a big mistake,” said Francoeur.

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