- Less than one-quarter (23%) of companies are planning holiday celebrations this year, down from a little more than three-quarters (76%) last year, according to a Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc, survey of 189 HR professionals. Of those planning a celebration, nearly three-quarters will hold virtual events, according to the Oct. 26 report.
- Roughly 55% of companies said they will not have holiday festivities this year, the highest number recorded since the firm started its survey in 2004. Others remain undecided. Most (44%) who plan to skip the party said they canceled plans because of the coronavirus; 5.3% said they are cutting costs and 4% said they never hold holiday parties.
- Many of those holding in-person events said they'd mandate masks and social distancing, limit the number of attendees, hold events outside and take temperatures.
"It is no surprise that many companies are forgoing the holiday party this year. It’s difficult to celebrate and implement all the precautions needed to keep everyone safe. The last thing any employer wants is an outbreak due to their year-end party," said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of the firm, in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that "event organizers and attendees should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size and use of mitigation strategies," as outlined in its Considerations for Events and Gatherings and suggested that event planners pay attention to state and local regulations. It might be necessary for organizers to continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings, the agency noted.
Employers who view year-end parties as a means to recognize employee contributions might want to investigate non-traditional rewards, including gifts. But, as one business owner previously told HR Dive, employers should remember to keep an eye on the practical: compensation always goes a long way toward demonstrating appreciation, Sally Strebel, founder and COO of Pagely, said.