Have you written your Christmas party prep list?

Tanya Howley

November 26 2019

Doesn’t it seem as though Christmas comes earlier each year? Nowadays, you don’t have to go far to see window displays doused in tinsel and fake snow in October.

That said, December is only a few days away, so it’s time to get into the spirit. For many employers, that means preparing for their Christmas party.

A Christmas party is an opportunity for your entire workforce to celebrate together. To make sure the night goes off without a hitch, it’s important to tick a few items off your Christmas prep list beforehand…

Optional attendance

Christmas doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone. Some people like to celebrate with friends and family. Some like to ‘shop ‘til they drop’. Others like quiet nights in by the fire.

When it comes to your Christmas party, make attendance optional. Staff will feel less pressure and attendance will give you an idea of interest in future events. You also won’t overbook a venue, meaning you’ll keep some extra funds in the party kitty for the next one.

As an alternative option, you can have a small event in work. That could be treats, a quiz, or a raffle. Anything light-hearted that appeals to a majority of your workforce.

Play it safe with Secret Santa

Secret Santa should be a bit of workplace fun. You get a colleague at random, pick up a gift you think they’ll enjoy, and have a laugh when they open it.

Every now and then, a gift can turn out to be a little too risky. To play it safe, remind employees to choose gifts with dignity at work principles in mind. That way, you reduce the chances of an employee being offended by another’s attempt at fun.

Best behaviour

The last thing you want post-party is a HR headache. However, when alcohol’s involved and fun goes too far, a complaint can land on your desk.

The easiest way of avoiding this is to remind employees what behaviour won’t be tolerated and to circulate relevant policies before the party. As we covered recently, Christmas parties are an extension of the workplace. So, if an employee brings something to light that happened at the Christmas party, you could be liable.

Dignity at work and/or anti-bullying/harassment policies should be in place and employees should be aware of them before the party. These policies should detail the behaviour expected of employees at work events.

Social media and your reputation

Social media is a powerful tool. It also has the power to cause your business trouble if the wrong moments are caught on camera.

When your Christmas party is in full swing, it’s likely an employee will snap a picture or video. If your business is tagged in it on social media, it’s there for the world to see. If it’s an inappropriate incident, your reputation is at risk.

To prevent the sharing of negative content, provide employees with a written policy that clarifies the rules around social media. If you’ve already done so, remind them before the party begins.

Plan for the morning after

Should your Christmas party fall on a ‘school night’, plan for the morning after. Let your employees know if they’re expected to start work at the normal time or if you’re giving them some leeway.

Remember that your health & safety responsibilities extend into the day after. So, if your employees drive or operate machinery for work, take appropriate precautions.

Remind employees not to report for work should they still be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If they do show up under the influence, you will most likely need to take further disciplinary action.

If you would like further complementary advice on party preparations from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call any time day or night. Call us on 1890 252 923 or request a callback here.

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