Policy On Alcohol Consumption Limitation - CiteHR
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Saswatabanerjee
Partner - Risk Management
Talentsorcerer
Talent Acquisition Expert
Paramesh1974
Executive - Sales Administation
Aparna Sanjiv
Hr Executive
Nathrao
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Loginmiraclelogistics
Asso.prof.(commerce & Management) Pg
SAIBHAKTA
Retired From Air India
+2 Others

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Hi, I'm working in a co which provides financial services, so we have our sales team were the RM's have to meet the clients for a general discussion or a meeting to provide them financial advices. So, on such occasions the clients offer drinks and the RM's can't deny as they would want to create good rapport with the clients, So, we have decided to bring up a policy were it talks about the limitation of alcohol consumption. Pls give your suggestions on what could be the limitation on alcohol consumption just like we have for driving. Also pls share if you have some sample policies on the same.
Thanks in advance
Regards

Dear Aparna,

Great! Your RMs are lucky to be tippled by their clients! There is lot to envy about their job!

Ok. Humour apart, your company appears to have been confused between "business call' and "general discussion". What brings you more business, former or latter? First decided on that count. Why do RMs visit their clients? Possibly to provide financial advice? Let the discussion be revolved around the financial investment and let your RMs leave the place.

Your RMs need to handle this matter professionally. If some client insists on taking drinks, they can be told politely "No'. Please note that liquor is such a liquid that makes one to spill the beans! In Hindi it can be said that Dil ki baat hote pe aati hai. Today it is just a peg or two of wine but these high and mighty people may go further also. Can you control this through HR Policies?

Psychology of rich is very different. Imagine for a while some RM is lured to become an agent and told to bring vital information from the business rival. If the project succeeds, the RM could be showered with some investment. Company will also become happy but you could be setting a dangerous precedent!

No need to make a policy as such on consumption of liquor. Since RMs role is advisory, its sanctity must be cherished. Nevertheless, in rarest of rare case they may consume a tot or two but such consumption must be reported on the same day or on the next day.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar


Dear Friend,
This is happening in everywhere regarding for business approval among with clients and Corporate companies. But we have to bring some restriction for drinking Alcohol consumption with clients because of they should not suffer by health problem as well as company should not go to de-growth .
Regards,
Parameswari
Chennai.

Aparna_Sanjiv- My opinion is firm in this regards and I would create a 'no liquor on duty' policy and apply it loosely. The RM's can decide if they want to indulge or opt out - if they want to opt out, they can cite this policy. If they want to be polite, they can stick to only 1 or 2 or whatever the case may be.
Enforcing this policy means that the RM's can't claim reimbursement for the liquor or alcoholic beverage.
And don't call them Relationship Managers. Maybe portfolio managers? or advisers or something appropriate.
Hope this helps.

WOW! What a point!! Isn’t that what the OP just stated? or did I miss something?
I don't see what is wrong with refusing liquor at client's place ? Remember that RMs are on official duty and not gone to the client's office for chatting/gossiping.They can very politely refuse and surely no client in the right state of mind shall feel offended.I liked Mr Divekar's reply to this post and he has highlighted a very important point.It's generally universal policy not to consume alcohol while on duty.
I do not understand this. Treat your RM as a responsible person, who can take/make his/her own decision. If a client discussion is followed by lunch including couple of drinks, so be it. Act as grown up individuals and let the RM decide what needs to be done, rather than being instructed by the HR/HQ. Anyone responsible enough will not get sozzled by few drinks. Where to put a stop is what the RM should know from his own drinking habits. Let's treat people as mature adults.
Certain rules and code of conduct needs to be spelt out in every organisation.
Treating people as adults does not mean that organisation can leave everything to maturity of employees.
This financial services organisation should clearly spell out no drinking with clients if meeting for an official discussion.
Every one has a different capacity to hold drinks.
The organisation cannot be expected to rely on any officials capacity to hold drinks and should frame a general rule for such interactions.
If client calls for a purely social interaction then off course we can leave it to maturity of officials to behave consistent with organisation culture.

Dear Mr CV Manian,

Your post implies that whether to take drinks or not should be left to the discretion of the RM. Nevertheless, organisations cannot run on individual's discretion. Objective of laying down rules and regulations is to bring uniformity in the behaviour amongst all the staff members. There is every possibility of difference in the interpretation of the phrases like "discretion" or "maturity". What if under the garb of "maturity", RMs start fulfilling their boozing instincts?

I have seen MNCs wherein the employees are not allowed to accept any gifts. Going further, these MNCs do not allow employees to accept even new year diaries from the suppliers or customers. However, the poster of this post, i.e. Aparna has asked about liquor. This is a far more personalised offer. Let us not forget the difference between "tea" and "wine". Former is a part and parcel of Indian's daily life but not latter.

The actual problem is not about acceptance of offer of liquor. The actual problems lies in not having business like approach by the RMs. Offering advice on managing funds is a highly cerebral activity. This would require understanding risk appetite of the customer and matching it with the right product.

If the quality is advice is of superior level then there is no need to satisfy the client by accepting a peg or two. There is a difference between "customer delight" and "customer appeasement". A customer can be delighted even if the service is provided is within the parameters of service. To delight a customer, employees need to go extra mile. Nevertheless, that extra mile should not lead to regalement. Otherwise that extra mile could bring extra problems in its wake. Let us not forget about it.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

I do not understand this. Treat your RM as a responsible person, who can take/make his/her own decision. If a client discussion is followed by lunch including couple of drinks, so be it. Act as grown up individuals and let the RM decide what needs to be done, rather than being instructed by the HR/HQ. Anyone responsible enough will not get sozzled by few drinks. Where to put a stop is what the RM should know from his own drinking habits. Let's treat people as mature adults.

We have seen comments from both sides. I would like to give my support to the "ban drinks" group.

The first point was about the fact that the RM can't refuse to drink because they have to develop a raport with the customer. Well, this is definitely a wrong idea that someone has put in because he likes free drinks. He may even be asking for the drinks.

You are talking of an Indian business scenario. In a business meeting in india, drinks are not on the table. Even if you meet someone at home they don't offer drinks, they offer tea. If you come in the evening when the client mortally has a drink, they will offer you one out of curtsy but not be offended if you refuse.

There are many grounds for refusal. One is to say that our new HR rule is that we are not allowed to drink while on duty, so please excuse me. Other is to take the excuse of having to drive / ride and the law does not permit. The fact that one has to take a public transport where even the smallest infraction takes a massive leap in perception of others if you smell of alcohol (say he stumbled and fell on a lady, if he smells of alcohol, the public will beat him up or the cops around will simply jail him as drunk predator)

If you want to soften the blow, he can say "I would appreciate a coke or a soda if it's not too much trouble"

What exactly are your RM trying to do ? They are suppose to sell mainly on professional skills and the companies ability. Some of them may get friendly and become close to the client and family. But those are exceptions, not the rule.

Next you will find bills of RM asking for reibmursement of "escort costs" because that helps him develop raaport with the client ?

(Yeah, I know that's extreme, but where does building a report end and non professional behaviour begin ?)


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