It’s fair to say that the workplace Christmas party gets its fair share of bad press. From punch-ups and offensively drunk staff, through to extra-marital activities and unwanted advances, we’ve all heard the horror stories. Depending on just how cautious you like to be, you might think that you’d be better off cancelling the whole thing and saving yourself the headache.
But before you rush into anything, remember that your staff have worked hard, and they deserve an opportunity to let their hair down. A festive get-together could prove to be just what you need to show your appreciation of their efforts and boost morale. What’s important here is that you’re suitably prepared. Here’s what you need to consider…
Remind your staff of your standards
Now could be a good time to remind your employees about what’s expected from them. At the end of the day, your staff are adults and should know how to conduct themselves at work and in related social situations, but there’s no harm in issuing a reminder. This is about ensuring that everyone understands what’s acceptable, and what will happen if behaviour falls below the required standards.
Get yourself organised
Planning is extremely important, so be sure to consider absolutely everything. From where you’ll hold the event, through to how people will get home safely at the end of the evening, through to the arrangements for being in work the next day, problems can often be avoided if you’ve considered your approach in advance. It makes sense to get your staff involved in the planning process, to ensure that their views are taken into account and they have the option to contribute ideas.
Consider differing preferences
A night of drinking isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, so do think about how you can make the event appeal to your diverse workforce. If you’re providing catering, consider any dietary requirements. You’re never going to be able to please everyone, especially if you have a large team, but it makes sense to consider tastes and preferences. Finally, on this point, attendance at a Christmas party should never be mandatory, so don’t make your staff feel like they’re obliged to make an appearance.
Relax a little!
At the end of the day, your Christmas party should be fun and enjoyable, and you should be able to let your hair down and celebrate alongside your team. If you’ve covered the points that we’ve discussed here, then it’s unlikely that you’ll experience any significant problems. Your staff are probably just looking forward to having a good time, and aren’t secretly plotting to cause riots or bring your business into disrepute!
If you’ve got concerns about this year’s Christmas party, and you’d like to take the opportunity to chat with an HR expert, pick up the phone and give us a call.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Rachel Wade, FCIPD