‘Christmas’ Work Parties – Disaster waiting to happen?

So you think you have the party planned out; where, who and when… but is that enough? Have you ensured that you are catering for everyone fairly and that health and safety and misconduct issues have been prepared for in advance?

Christmas parties are to celebrate business success for the year and to thank employees for their hard work, aiding employee morale and bringing teams closer together. Therefore, it is important to ensure that everyone is included.

  • Food/Set Meal Plan: Have you considered the different possible dietary needs for employees’ beliefs/religion or medical requirements? (Providing suitable food for vegetarians, nut allergies etc.)
  • Theme, decoration and activities: Is the plan in good taste for everyone? (E.g. visiting a local pub for a ‘booze-up’ may not be suitable if some employees’ religion is against the consumption of alcohol).
  • Timing: Are all employees able to come? (Maybe consider employees’ family responsibilities and when they are expected in work).

Health and Safety responsibility:

The party needs to be remembered for the right reason; that awesome time out with the team, not the time that employee was involved in an accident, so health and safety is paramount.

  • Have you made sure that all employees (and any invited significant others) remember to drink in moderation so everyone can enjoy the night and not have the health and safety of themselves and others jeopardised.
  • Have you considered pre-booking a bus/taxi service to and from the venue to ensure the safety of the employees and help to avoid the possibility of any post-celebration drunk driving.

Employee Conduct & Brand Image:

Damage control is required to ensure that company image is protected and that employees conduct themselves appropriately at the party.

  • A dress code may be of use to encourage a greater team feeling for the celebrations and to ensure that clothing choices are not offensive.
  • Have you made sure all employees (and any invited significant others) know what is expected of their behaviour (and that poor behaviour may lead to disciplinary action) to ensure that they remember to act responsibly whilst partying. Make sure a harassment claim isn’t something that needs to be dealt with after all the fun.

Make the most of your work Christmas party and ensure it is a morale booster to bring the whole team closer together rather than a black mark and a waste of the company money… Do the extra preparation now, and enjoy the extra free morale boost of the holiday season!

Related Link

Human Resources Aid: Example pre-party memo, for all employees, to help cover necessary information (and behaviour warnings)


[This information is provided for reference only – no liability accepted. All registered trademarks recognised. E&OE.]

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