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Responsible alcohol use important at holiday functions

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Small-business owners are constantly looking for ways to inspire morale and a sense of teamwork within their workforce, and what better way to do that than a holiday party? Celebrating getting through the year and ringing in the new one is especially special for smaller firms that can be greatly affected by the economy.

Holiday parties are certainly a great way to bring all team members together to learn about each other and their families, but it's important small-business owners make sure their employees remain responsible at these functions and alcohol doesn't play a major role.

Don't let parties put a strain on productivity
According to research sponsored by Caron Treatment Centers, of the 96 percent of people who have either come into work hungover after a holiday party or know someone who has, 64 percent called in sick for work, while 61 percent either arrived late or left early from the office.

"If employees are unable to perform because of drinking too much the night before, their job performance may be seriously impacted," said Dr. Harris Stratyner, vice president of Caron Treatment Centers. "While it is an individual's responsibility to manage their alcohol consumption, employers can encourage employees to take responsibility for their behavior."

Alcohol can lead to added dangers
Small-firm owners who hold holiday parties at their office space bring in refreshments, food and activities as they see fit. While it's perfectly acceptable to have alcohol at holiday parties, business owners must know that they will be held responsible if one of their employees gets injured in the office.

Accidents can happen at holiday functions, especially when alcohol is involved, which stresses the importance of having general liability insurance. These policies can protect against employees getting injured in the office, provide money for court fees or replace any damages to the office that were caused by an accident.

Stratyner stressed that alcohol can often lead to destructive behavior, putting all employees at added danger. He continued to state that excessive drinking at holiday parties could shed some light on potential emotional or mental problems of employees, demonstrating why responsible alcohol consumption at holiday parties is of increased importance.

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