Yes, it is the “Holiday Party at the Glass Shop” Blog

Which of the following don’t go together well?

  • Peanut butter and marshmallow.
  • Baseball and green grass.
  • Polar bears and white snow.
  • Alcohol and a glass business.

Yup, you guessed it. Deep six the alcohol at the party at your company this year, unless it is an evening affair and there is a professional bartender handing out the drinks. You just can’t imagine the grief you will be in for if someone has an accident on the way home from your party where you served alcohol. Worse yet, you have the party around the cutting table and then go back to work… and then someone has an accident. You have never seen, and rightly so, the wrath that OSHA will bring down on your head.

I know you have done this forever—and never had a problem. So if you think of yourself as lucky, go buy a lottery ticket, and don’t gamble with your business.

And now to shatter your dreams that drinking doesn’t happen at your place around the holidays, I’m telling you that it does. I have seen very few business where a bottle of Scotch isn’t passed around on Christmas eve; where a coffee cup has a small amount of ‘coffee’ in it that is being sipped slowly. A vendor brings in a bottle and says to share it with the whole department, so your receiving clerk does just that. 

I’m not a party pooper. If you want to have a party, do it. Ask a few folks to be designated drivers and ask them to pick up in the morning and take people home who have had a drink. Start the party at 2:30 in the afternoon and then consider the rest of this day a write-off; then you can enjoy the party, too!

Lastly, you have people on the road. Remind them that you have a zero tolerance policy on having a drink at someone else’s party. And at your party, don’t allow visitors or delivery drivers to have a drink with you. Your liability extends to anyone who is served at your business.

What can you do to make this easier? Have a three or four different types of juice. Have a couple of different sodas and a handful of flavored bottled waters.  Also, have some bottles of non-alcoholic beer in the ice chest.

Enough of my preaching on this subject. Enjoy your party, and enjoy the parties at your customers and your vendors. I just want you safe and sound to enjoy the New Year’s party coming the following week.

If You Give Your Employees PPT, Will You Have To Clear It With The Health Department?

What is PPT? Some new transmittable disease? Will it force you to change the health plan you offer your employees? Or, will it land you in the Employers Hall Of Fame in your area?

And the answer is: You’ll be in the Employers Hall Of Fame, which isn’t quite as good as being in the Baseball Hall of Fame… but it is a close second.

PPT is: Paid Personal Time. You do this by combining an employee’s earned vacation time, their allotted sick days, your scheduled holidays and any other days off you offer, such as an employee’s birthday or a religious holiday. Then, treating your employees as adults, let them schedule all of these days with their supervisor so that no part of your company will be in a shortage of labor. Sounds chaotic, but it really does work. Your employees will be happier, which makes your supervisors happier, which makes your customers happier, which makes you happier. What a winning combination.

Most employees will want to get paid traditionally, meaning they will get paid for holidays, take their vacation time and hold on to their sick days. But some employees will really appreciate the point that they can take a longer vacation and not get paid for their holidays. They may want to travel to a different country spending time with family, and can’t work that into a typical one- or two-week vacation. They may want to take time to care for Aunt Mary, who is in a nursing home, or they want a long stretch of time to finish a home improvement project. 

The key here is, if you treat your employees like adults and ask them to manage their time off, they will. And they will treat you and your company the same way.  An employee who wants the first day of hunting season off can schedule that as PPT instead of calling in that morning and pretending to be sick.

Your other handbook rules will stay the same. If an employee doesn’t schedule a day off before or after a scheduled holiday, and doesn’t show up, they should not be paid for the holiday. Other than a true sick day, all days away from work should be scheduled well in advance.

Salaried folks will take time in full or maybe half-day increments. Your hourly crew should do the same. I don’t recommend that you allow people to take off a random hour here or there because of the bookkeeping nightmare.

There are other details of a program, including the regulations under the Family Leave Act, disabilities, and parental time off in certain states. If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to give me a phone call at 603-242-3521. There is no charge for this type of consulting for USGlass readers.