The Staff Christmas Party

For many, plans are being made to celebrate the festive season with their family and friends and for business owners they see the staff Christmas party as a great opportunity to bring their team together – for bonding, boosting morale and saying “Thank you”.

That said, it can be a risky time for employers – we’ve all heard the stories of “the office party” – filled with unwanted advances, inappropriate behaviour, horseplay and so on……

Rather than feel like the Grinch, just put in place a few things that will help protect your business, your company’s reputation and ensure that everyone has a great time at the staff Christmas party.

  1. Make sure that your team knows that the party is an extension of the workplace and whilst you want everyone to let their hair down, they are expected to be respectful to others and act as ambassadors for the company.
  2. Remember that you may have people in your team whose faith means that they don’t celebrate Christmas or doesn’t allow for the consumption of alcohol or particular foods. Make sure that you have considered this in any plans that you make.
  3. If you are using an external venue then please ensure that you have considered the needs/requirements of any disabled employees.

As the drinks begin to flow, this is usually the time when acceptable behavioural standards can slip.  Remind everyone that as this is an extension of the workplace, you have every right to investigate and take necessary steps in accordance with your disciplinary policy and procedure. This is a great time to check if you have these in place and they are up-to-date. If you have them in place, are they still current? Our Online HR Toolkit has all the templates, policies and procedures you need. You can book a free 30 minute Toolkit Tour here.

These occasions are also a time when mobile devices are used to capture key moments, good and bad and share with the world using the numerous social platforms available, all at the touch of a button. This may lead to some uncomfortable situations and some red-faced individuals coming to you as their manager/employer asking for your help to get any incriminating pictures removed.  This should be covered in your Social Media Policy.

Hopefully, a good night will be had by all, without anyone letting the side down, however, the problems can often occur the morning after when an employee makes a phone call to you to advise that they won’t be in as they’re nursing a really bad headache.  Clearly, any short term absence can be incredibly disruptive and so it is helpful to ensure that everyone knows any consequences under your Absence Management Policy (also in the Online HR Toolkit).

We hope that you and your team have a wonderful time celebrating the festive season and if you do have any issues then please do get in touch with us.