News & Announcements

HEC’s 2019 Holiday Practices Survey Summary is Here!

Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2019 6:28 am

HEC’s Annual Holiday Practices Survey was conducted in October of 2019.  A total of two hundred twenty-three organizations participated this year providing information on topics ranging from holiday scheduling to holiday parties and charitable giving.

Holiday Time-Off

One hundred-ten participating organizations will be providing time-off for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  71.8% of these organizations will provide half-day off, 20.9% will provide a full-day off and 7.3% will provide a mixed combination of a full-day and/or half-day off.

Half-Staff Scheduling Practices: Monday - Friday Work Schedule

Half-Staff Scheduling is a practice where half of the staff is scheduled to work on each respective eve, while the other half of the staff enjoys time off.

Nearly three-fourths of participating organizations, 72.6% do not plan to offer half-staff scheduling for their Monday - Friday work schedule workforce.  However, 15.7% of organizations will offer half-staff scheduling for both Christmas and New Year's Eve, with 4.5% offering this option for only one eve and 7.2% remain undecided.

Of the forty-five organizations that are offering half-staff scheduling, 31.8% will provide a full day off for Christmas Eve and 32.6% will provide a full day off for New Year’s Eve. 54.5% will provide half-day for Christmas Eve with 51.2% providing half-day for New Year’s Eve.  The remaining respondents are currently undecided on their Christmas and New Year’s Eve scheduling plans.

Holiday Party Practices

Over two-thirds of participating organizations, 71.7% have reported that they will have an organization-wide holiday party this year.  Slightly under half of respondents 49.7% will host the event outside of regular working hours and 62.0% will hold the events at an offsite location.  Nearly half of these organizations, 48.0% will allow employees to bring a spouse/guest to the event.

Alcoholic Beverages

Of the organizations that will host a holiday party, 48.8% will have alcoholic beverages available at the party, 51.3% will not have alcoholic beverages available.

If alcoholic beverages are served at the party, the top five reported precautionary measures organizations will take remains similar to last year, with “cocktail servers monitoring drinking” moving from the first spot to the third and “offering alternate transportation” moving from fifth spot to the fourth:

  • Organization will limit the number of complimentary drinks (through drink tickets or set maximum allowed drinks)
  • Organization will limit the time frame for serving alcohol
  • Cocktail servers will be instructed to monitor drinking and refuse service to intoxicated employees and/or guests
  • Organization offer alternate transportation services (e.g. Taxi, Uber, Lyft, Ride-Sharing)
  • Organization will limit the type of drinks available (i.e. beer and wine)

Community/Charitable Giving Practices

Slightly more than one third of the survey participants, 41.7% report they will be participating in community/charitable giving this holiday season.  More than a quarter of participants, 26.0% do not plan to participate in such an undertaking and 32.3% of respondents are currently undecided.

HEC conducts a variety of compensation and benefits surveys to provide data useful in developing and administering compensation and benefit plans, and personnel policies.  Custom snapshots and comparison reports from our compensation surveys are available, along with customized, proprietary surveys conducted on your behalf.  Our Survey & Compensation experts can also work with members on employee opinion surveys to identify gaps between being an employer of choice and being merely an employer.  For more information, please contact Cathy Keaulani, Survey & Compensation Services Manager (, or Susan Amuro, Survey & Compensation Analyst (

A pdf version of the summary is available here.

Feature of the Month:

Guide to Returning to the Workplace: Organizational Effectiveness (Phase 2)

As you bring employees back to the workplace, keep in mind strategic considerations for the future of your organization’s health and effectiveness.

Learn More

Subscribe to Our Training Events Updates

Subscribe to our training events notices to get in early on upcoming events.

Back to top

Email Sign Up


If you are a member, please login below to manage your subscription. Otherwise, click "Continue to Subscribe"


Continue to Subscribe


Fill out the fields below to receive HEC emails.

How did you hear about HEC?

I would like to receive the following:

News & Updates
Training Events Notices