The festive season is a chance for businesses to celebrate the year, bring some excitement to the office and let the staff blow off a bit of steam. We know that the office Christmas party can be the highlight of the year but there is always the chance that some people can have too much fun and you end up with HR or Health and Safety issues.
We want you to have a fun and safe Christmas party, so below we’ve outlined a few guidelines to help ensure your party is successful and without incident.
• Be clear about the behaviour you expect from your staff – a reminder never hurts. Email a reminder to them that it is a work event and therefore the usual work behaviour rules still apply although you want them to have some fun
• Remind your managers about their responsibility to look after their staff, ensuring that they behave reasonably, don’t overdo the alcohol and get home safely
• Safety at the venue – check out the party venue beforehand so that you know it’s safe for your staff
• Alcohol – this is the danger area at most parties. While you don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, you could consider limiting the amount of alcohol served. Provide plenty of food and make sure there are non-alcoholic beverages available. You could also organise some activities that people can participate in that don’t centre on alcohol to maintain a safe party atmosphere
• Getting home safely – while it’s not a legal requirement to provide transport home, you could be a responsible employer and ensure that your staff get home safely. Informing staff about their options around public transport, pre-booking taxis and facilitating designated drivers/carpooling etc can ensure that when the fun starts to wind down, everyone ends up safe in bed (although you can’t help with the morning-after headaches!)
Hopefully these quick tips will help ensure that your party is successful, that everyone has fun and that it's incident-free.
If you want to discuss any aspect of HR, including how to manage your Christmas party, please contact Tarryn on 027 530 1255 and we don't expect an invite!
Tarryn has worked in HR for over 14 years and loves to solve problems. She is a self professed employment relations junkie! She lives in Auckland with her dedicated husband, tireless toddler and three special needs cats.