As a great employer, you know you take on a duty of care for every employee.
And at this time of year, that still stands. Especially when it comes to work Christmas parties or events – they’re classified as an extension of the workplace.
That means that if you’re planning a Christmas event of any kind, you need to ensure your employees know exactly what’s expected of them and their behaviour at all times.
First, you want to consider that you need to ensure the safety of your employees. This can include making sure they don’t drink too much if alcohol is on offer, that they don’t drink and drive, and that they have a suitable way of getting home (you may consider booking hotels in some cases).
You’ll also want to be aware that they are representing your company when they are out. That means their behaviour towards others should be exemplary, and if you have clients joining you, they continue to behave in a professional way that won’t damage any working relationships.
Before the event, you should make sure that your people familiarise themselves with your handbook so that they are under no doubt of what’s expected of them. They should be aware of your company policy on drug use, bullying and harassment, violence and aggressive behaviour. They should also understand the consequences if any of these policies is breached while at a work Christmas party.
It’s a good idea to have a member of staff (perhaps a manager) that doesn’t drink to be on the lookout for any behaviour like this and to deal with any incidents as they arise.
Don’t forget that your behaviour counts too! Invite everyone in the business, even if they’re off sick or on maternity/paternity leave. Take everyone’s requirements into account too – if you have vegetarian staff or anyone with food intolerances, for instance, you’ll need to make sure that they’re catered for. Likewise, make sure that if you have staff with disabilities, their needs are taken into consideration when choosing venues and accessibility.
When you take the time to do the correct planning beforehand, it’s highly likely that your event will go smoothly, and everyone will behave. But if you don’t be prepared for the fallout the next day!
If you’re unsure about anything relating to Christmas parties or anything else HR, feel free to contact us.
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