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Ready or not, office holiday parties are back this year. These are some of the risks that practice owners and leaders should manage to help ensure a stress-free holiday and a positive transition to the New Year.
There are a number of recurring seasonal risks we provide updates and reminders on every year, like our recent look at avoiding tax evasion and the abusive promoter driven plans that target doctors at the end of each year. Another one of those predictable seasonal risks is the traditional holiday office party. In late 2020 much of the country was under varying degrees of COVID-19 lock-down and pandemic protocols, with a distant promise of vaccines and conditions that had healthcare professionals fighting for life and sanity.
After arguably the most stressful year in the practice lives of many providers and despite recurring surges in coronavirus cases and deaths across the U.S., the wide adoption of vaccines, and the loosening of restrictions on gatherings has many medical practice leaders and staff members ready for an in-person party again. HR leaders feel that maintaining the tradition of a celebration, whether in person or virtual is a good way to blow off steam, help build team morale and connections between people who have been working remotely, and thank your team for everything they have done.
For those choosing to hold live events, maintaining covid safety standards need to be a significant consideration.
While some of these risks are altogether new or variations of more familiar ones, the more conventional risks haven’t gone away and some of them may be heightened by current stress levels, contentious social and political environments, and those who may feel they need to, “make up for lost time”. We’ve covered these issues before in greater detail, so here’s a short summary of some issues and risks to consider that will help ensure your holiday party remains, first and foremost, a safe and professional celebration.