Many workplaces celebrate together with a Friday happy hour. Outside activities, such as team retreats, happy hours, and community projects, can allow you to build a stronger team. Through participating together you can form new relationships, cultivate existing partnerships, strengthen your overall team foundation, and build better communication. These are the shared goals for most employers and employees when they participate.

 

While outside work activities can have positive benefits, there is always the risk of employee bad behavior.

 

Employee bad behavior can ruin not just the activity but the business morale as well. It is true that employers and employees behave differently outside the workplace. In most instances, everyone is on their best behavior during work hours and employee bad behavior is avoided in most situations. This may not be the case, however, when work is finished for the day.

 

Is it possible today to relax around your co-workers and let your guard down today? Should activities like happy hour or community projects be encouraged or discouraged at work? Will they ultimately benefit or harm your company?

 

Are team building activities worth the risk of employee bad behavior?

 

As you determine the right solution for your and your company, we are here to offer guidance on this very important question. Let us share with you three types of bad behavior that need to be avoided at all costs.

 

1. Office Gossip. When people are together, they like to talk. This is true in the break room, during the work day and during happy hour. The key is to keep the conversation constructive. Office gossip can cause hurt feelings, broken relationships and destroy trust. Be sure to keep the conversation positive and avoid situations that lead to to gossip.

 

2. Inappropriate Humor and Conversation. Not all conversations are suitable to have with your co-workers. This holds true even when you are “off the clock” and spending time together. Respect your co-workers boundaries and avoid conversation topics that have no business being discussed in casual conversation.

 

3. Discriminatory Statements. Discrimination in any form should be avoided at all costs and not tolerated. These are your co-workers. As such, they should be treated with dignity and respect. Jokes and comments that discriminate against someone based on age, race, gender, disability or anything else have no place in conversation. These are just a few of the examples of employee bad behavior that cannot be tolerated.

 

While there can be significant benefits to team building activities, there can also be drawbacks. If you are an employee who feels that a happy hour got out of hand and are not sure what to do or an employer who needs to know how to handle a potentially volatile issue, do not wait to contact a member of our legal team today. Our firm is here to support you.