Preparing for the work Christmas party can be daunting. While every work Christmas party has a few stories to tell once they are in full swing, it does not provide an excuse for inappropriate behaviour from your employees. Work functions can be rife with claims of harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination as well as health and safety issues.
How can you reduce the risk and keep the event fun and safe for everyone involved?
Here are a few guidelines to follow.
Work Christmas Party Guidelines
- Ensure your employees are aware that the Christmas party is a work event and responsible and respectful behaviour is required from them and their partner.
- Send out a quick memo to remind employees that workplace policies and related disciplinary actions still apply, and remind them where to find the documentation.
- Set specific start and finish times for the Christmas party. Specify that any follow-on after the party is not employer endorsed.
- Ensure the responsible service of alcohol, and that food and non-alcoholic drinks are also available.
- Organise transport for employees after the Christmas party. Taxi vouchers can be a nice gesture.
- Identify and designate a responsible contact person at the event to oversee, and keep and eye on employee behaviour.
- Even if the event is themed, ensure staff are reminded to dress appropriately.
- If your workplace participates in Secret Santa, remind employees that the gifts should not be offensive or inappropriate in nature.
- Review your employer insurance to be sure the function is covered.
- Lead by example. It’s very difficult to expect your employees to behave if their manager over-indulges on alcohol, or behaves badly.
- Most of all, should there be any complaints arising from your work function, be sure to deal with these quickly and responsibly.
Our message is not about taking the fun out of Christmas. At the end of the day, if employers and staff take some simple precautions, the office Christmas party can be a trouble-free way to celebrate a year of hard work.
Director, Your HR on Tap
Your HR on Tap is a pay as you go HR advice and support service – get support as you need it, when you need it, how you need it!