The great Christmas conundrum

The work’s Christmas ‘do’ is a great opportunity to celebrate a year of success and gather colleagues together in a more relaxed environment… but as an employer, how do you keep everyone happy while making sure there are no embarrassments, regrets or even disciplinaries the next day?

Every employer wants their staff to have a great time at the Christmas party, but to make it so takes some pretty smart organisation even before you think about venues. Even fairly small teams can consist of a wide variety of cultures and religions, so for starters, you need to make sure you take an inclusive view – and then there are all kinds of extra considerations to make.

Here are our top ten tips for hosting a Christmas party that won’t leave anyone on the ‘naughty’ list:

1. Make sure that everyone feels included, especially if they don’t share the Christian values associated with Christmas – this means checking that the day of the week you choose isn’t sacred for other religions that could mean certain staff members can’t join in.

2. Declare a ‘no pressure’ policy, so nobody feels obliged to attend if they don’t feel comfortable.

3. Make sure catering covers vegetarians, vegans, those that abstain from alcohol and any special dietary needs – and that everything’s clearly labelled.

4. Relax the rules – while it’s an extension of the workplace in some regards, you still want people to have fun!

5. However, while point 4 is important, you still need to advise employees that certain standards of behaviour are still expected!

6. Provide written guidance on personal conduct e.g. no aggressive or bullying behaviour, and no harassment – and make it clear that if these rules are contravened, it will
be dealt with in the same way as if it occurred during normal working circumstances.

7. Don’t lay on a free bar – it makes any rules under point 6 more difficult to uphold!

8. However, it is Christmas, so you want to get into the spirit a little… offer to buy the first round of drinks, or provide a bottle of wine for each table.

9. Try to assign a designated non-drinker from management to keep a subtle eye on staff without spoiling any legitimate fun.

10. If the party falls on a work night, clearly state your expectations for attendance in the morning – even if that means letting everyone come in an hour later, or providing a free breakfast or energy drink!

Finding the balance between Santa and Scrooge can feel like a challenge at Christmas, but these tips will help everyone to have a fantastic time, while allowing you to relax and enjoy it too.

For further information on surviving the Christmas party season call our Advice Service 0800 028 2420.