Are Booze and Sex Too Hot to Handle on the Company Dime?

Excessive drinking at corporate events and while traveling on company business is quite not unusual. I have blogged about the pitfalls of booze and sexual misconduct on company time. So, I am surprised we don't see more headlines along these lines:

Minister in sex-for-favors scandal: ICAC
Infamous CEO Sex Scandals

BoozeSome corporate cultures tolerate this type of behavior. Everything from getting drunk to skinny dipping in the pool is regarded as "having fun."

I once facilitated a winter retreat at which I learned that employees got drunk and went skinny dipping in the lake after dinner in January. The Sales Director brought pornography to show his team, and the CEO, a man in his sixties, got so drunk that he had to be confined to his bed on the last day. (Yes, he went skinny dipping too.) Fortunately, it was one of the few times that I did not stay at the resort. Equally fortunate was the fact that the property was small and the company had exclusive use. 

This was not the case when the VP, directors and several members of their team kept guests at an exclusive Caribbean resort kept other guests awake by skinny dipping in the hot tub and rowdy behavior at 2 AM. (This was not an event that I organized but I heard about it from one of the participants.)

Whether it's during team-building retreats, business meetings or sales rallies, some companies still don't get the fact that poor judgment by some employees can erode a company's branding. It makes no sense to spend millions on promotion and advertising and see that investment go down the drain due to the poor judgment of some team members.

Companies that do not have them would be wise to embrace Codes of Conduct that clearly spell out the expected behavior at corporate events and when traveling on company-related business. In the past, Codes of Conduct were reviewed and signed at orientation and as part of the annual review process. Given the immaturity of some team members display, etiquette classes and briefings to review appropriate behavior before incentive travel, corporate retreats and large corporate events would also be advisable.

Photo Credit: ambernambrose

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