Although Christmas parties are the perfect way to show your appreciation to employees, it can also be an etiquette minefield, especially for management!
Our HR Manager Aisling shares her 6 tips for managing a Christmas Party:
- TIP ONE: Remind your Employees of the Rules
Normal rules that apply when representing the company also extend to the Christmas party. Employers should ensure that employees understand the standard of conduct expected of and that they are expected to observe the provisions of the Dignity at Work and Bullying and Harassment policies at work related events. Set out clearly what is expected of employees in advance by sending an email that provides clear written guidance to all employees about acceptable standards of behaviour and reminding them that the party is an extension of the workplace. Make it clear that fighting, excessive alcohol consumption, the use of illegal drugs, inappropriate behaviour, sexist or racist remarks or harassment and comments about sexual orientation, disability, age or religion will not be tolerated. Explain that disciplinary action may be taken for unacceptable behaviour.
- TIP TWO: Don’t Offer a Free Bar
Try not to encourage excessive alcohol intake as a result of offering employees a free bar. The majority of incidents that could potentially lead to issues coming back into the office tend to be as a result of too much alcohol. Remember, as it is a company party, the employer is responsible for any issues that may arise including physical injuries, so you may want to consider restricting the amount of free alcohol available and should be prepared to ask individuals not to drink any more if necessary
- TIP THREE: Keep an Eye on Social Media
Employers should confirm with their employees that they are not permitted to upload material on social media sites which would unfavourably affect the reputation of the employer. It’s important to communicate that such conduct may result in the employee being disciplined in accordance with the employer's disciplinary policy.
- TIP FOUR: Conversations to avoid
Managers should avoid discussions about performance, promotion, salary or career prospects at the Christmas party, especially if alcohol has been taken.
- TIP FIVE: How are your employees getting home?
Employers need to give consideration to how employees will make it home from the party. In an email prior to the event, include advice about not drinking and driving, as an employer may still be responsible for its employees driving home from an office party. Ask employees to plan their journey home before attending the party.
- TIP SIX: The Timing of Your Christmas Party
Employers need to be mindful of health and safety policies, especially for employees who drive or operate machinery and are rostered to work the day following the party. An employee should not be at work under the influence of drugs or alcohol so that they do not endanger their own or another person's health and safety at work. Employers should communicate that employees who report to work the day after the Christmas party are not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Managing staff parties is not an easy task and can cause unnecessary stress on the lead up to it. However, following these 6 tips should ensure it all goes down smoothly and can be something you look forward to every year!
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