Impact of a Corporate Alcohol Policy on Employee Morale

safety keynote speaker

Janice has been in sales for over 40 years.

When she started her career, she would take her male customers out for lunch to a restaurant of their choice.

They usually chose the strip climb. Janet would have to sit there and watch women strip while eating prime rib and potatoes. 

Her customers also drank a lot. Sometimes they became belligerent and aggressive. Janet would scoff, pull them together, pay the bill, and they would leave. Pretend it didn't happen. And do it all again next week. 

Why did her customers want to scarf down lunch at a strip club?     

They went to see naked women and drink beer. 

Janet explained her male customers couldn't go to a strip joint on their credit card; their spouse would find out. It was there dirty little secret. It built a bond that was impenetrable by other salespeople. 

Janet was a top salesperson. She kept her customers' indiscretions a secret and built up an impressive sales portfolio. 

Times have changed a lot.

Many organizations now limit alcohol consumption during work hours. They also limit the distraction of naked women. 

Workplaces have had to tighten up there routines and protocol. Perhaps one contractor came to work drunk, and now People frown on alcohol at work. They had to set rules. One person mistake impacted everyone. 

Health & safety is a top priority in most workplaces. 


Today the Occupational Health and Safety Act outlines the obligation employers have to maintain safe environments.

Alcohol causes a loss of productivity, absenteeism, safety concerns and other bad behaviour. It is known to affect judgement and physical coordination. It can harm your company image and customer relationships. 

When I'm a keynote speaker at corporate events, I chose not to drink. Alcohol and public speaking don't go hand in hand. 

A little research shows, every organization has a different policy when it comes to alcohol during a work event, or during the workday. 

When companies pick up a meal charge, many people ask to have alcohol on a separate bill. It's their policy not to pay for a drink. Other organizations are much more lenient. In fact, for some companies, alcohol is a part of their culture. It flows loosely when they entertain or take clients for lunch. It helps them build relationships; it helps them get sales. 

The process of determining when and how much employees can drink during work can be daunting. However, it's essential to act to prevent problems before they occur. 

No alcohol policy or a lenient alcohol policy can be a recipe for disaster. 

Alcohol Impact on Corporate Morale

Employers have a legal responsibility to maintain a safe working environment. Alcohol impairs judgement and impacts individuals safety as well as a team. Drinking too much or at the wrong time can have adverse consequences. Anyone operating machinery or equipment should not be under the influence. However, I have seen organizations where it's forbidden to drink in one department but acceptable in another. The rules are inconsistent, and it creates resentment. 

Also heavy drinking the night before a shift can still impact judgement the next day. 

Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream within a few minutes of consumption. It is carried to all parts of the body, including the brain. It takes a healthy liver about one hour to break down and remove one unit of alcohol( the equivalent of a small glass of wine).  

Banning alcohol altogether during work functions ( or the workday)  may backfire, mainly if people are used to it. However, educating people about the effects of alcohol can be helpful. Most people decide to drink every day in their personal lives. Extend that judgement to the workplace with a few policies to clarify expectations. 

Safety ​Motivational ​speaker 

The hardest part of any policy is consistently enforcing it. Also, a policy has to be fair and equitably applied. If people feel mistreated, it creates resentment. Open discussions around alcohol and its impact can boost morale. It's when policies are unclear or inconsistent that it creates resentment. Nothing improves when you pretend its not a problem. Helping teams understand alcohol, and it impacts on their judgement, and related policies will clear the air.


A safe and healthy workplace is a priority for all team members. It's linked to all aspects of fulfilling work. The process of protecting workers from harm positively impact morale. Teams know organizations that care about safety care about them. They don't have to fret over safe workplaces; they can free their energy up to focus on productive work. Health promotion is shown to reduce stress, increase job satisfaction, create a safe work environment and create a sense of well being.

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