Posted on Dec 7th 2018.
It’s that time of year again when the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder, and Christmas is only a matter of weeks away.
The office Christmas party is a yearly event that many people look forward to, and is a great way of blowing off some steam after a long year of working.
However, you often find that people behave in a different way on these nights out, and their actions could land them in some hot water, particularly from a HR stand point.
To keep you safe, we’ve decided to put together our top tips for ensuring a fun and drama free Christmas party that is approved by HR.
Christmas may be the time for letting your hair down, but it doesn’t mean that you need to get so drunk that you can’t walk.
Kicking back and having a drink with colleagues is completely fine, but we can guarantee that you’ve seen one or two people do some embarrassing things whilst intoxicated on work night outs. Consuming too much alcohol can often lead to us losing our inhibitions, and ultimately doing things we are soon going to regret.
The rule that whatever happens at the Christmas party, stays at the Christmas party is a total lie, and there could be repercussions for certain behaviour.
You might have good relationships with your colleagues, but this is still not an excuse to go overboard. At the end of the day, you still have to work alongside these people so always drink responsibility.
If you are providing a free bar, consider implementing a drink limit and monitor behaviour throughout the night.
Christmas is not an excuse for someone to make a move, and any signs of inappropriate behaviour should be dealt with immediately.
The mixture of alcohol and the spirit of Christmas can sometimes cause people to act in an inappropriate manner, and this can make other employees feel uncomfortable. We’ve seen countless examples of uncomfortable advances on other employees and professing personal feelings for colleagues in the past, and it needs to be addressed.
The Christmas night out is supposed to be a fun experience for everyone, and this kind of behaviour can ruin it for many people. If you spot an employee acting or doing anything that could be considered inappropriate, remove them from the situation and check how much they have had to drink.
Keep the mistletoe at home and respect the other employees.
As tempting as it might be to take a picture of the boss doing drunk karaoke, we advise staying away from social media altogether on a night out.
Social media is great for sharing pictures and updates to friends and seeing what they are up to, and can be a powerful tool for businesses. However, this doesn’t mean that allowing the entire of your news feed to see you and your colleagues partying the night away is a good idea.
Even though it’s your work night out, you are still representing your company and posting videos of drunk shenanigans is not good for business.
We would recommend having a social media policy in place as an employer to protect your business and reminding your team ahead of the party to deter any potential bad publicity or poor decisions being made.
The office Christmas party is a great excuse to get to know other employees that you might not interact with on a daily basis.
These kinds of events are good for mingling, allowing the managerial staff to spend some quality time amongst the other employees and it can be a fantastic way of improving your relationship with people.
If you see someone on their own, go and strike up a conversation. Christmas parties can be awkward for anyone, so getting everyone involved will ensure that everyone has a good time and no one is feeling left out.
No matter what you might think of a fellow employee, the Christmas party is not the place to tell them how you really feel.
As we’ve already spoken about, alcohol can often leave people without a filter, and this could lead to some arguments or drama amongst the staff. However, the party is definitely not the place to let your true feelings be known, and there could be serious repercussions because of it.
The same can be said for “office gossip”, and spreading rumours about colleagues can end up being harmful and can make employees feel isolated.
Anything that you might say or do on the Christmas night out is bound to be mentioned the next day, so think before you speak and conduct yourself accordingly.
To save any potentially embarrassing moments, make sure everyone knows and has agreed to the dress code before the event.
There is nothing worse than turning up to a party where everyone is dressed completely different to you.
When planning the Christmas night out, it’s important to send out a brief with all of the details including time, date, location and dress code. Letting people know in advance will clear up any confusion and will ensure that everyone turns up accordingly.
For example, if the event is black tie, let your employees know. You don’t want people turning up in jeans and a t-shirt whilst you are channeling James Bond.
Unless you are feeling ill or maybe already have other commitments, we would recommend attending the Christmas party if you can.
Participating in this festive get together is good for boosting morale and promoting a team sprit, and having fun alongside your colleagues is only going to improve your relationship with them. You don’t have to be the one that is staying out until the early hours of the morning, but its good for team spirit to try and enjoy a few hours of fun alongside the other members of staff.
This is another instance where overdoing it on the drink will come back to haunt you, and showing up the next day is so important.
The office Christmas party is made for kicking back and enjoying yourself, but don’t forget there is still work to do. Some offices will allow employees to come in a little bit later or even have the day off, but there are always going to be a select few that have to hold down the fort the morning after.
Ringing in sick is not going to work, so don’t even try it.
If you need any help with identifying inappropriate workplace behaviour or implementing HR procedures, contact Wurkplace today. Our experts are always on hand to take the risk out of your business.
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