Office festive celebrations
However you are planning on celebrating, whether it’s an informal get together down the pub or an organised ‘do’, it’s important to think about a few points, set a few boundaries and know what your responsibilities are as an employer.
Limit the Christmas spirit.
As an employer if you supply drink at the party or supply money behind the bar for drinks, you may be deemed legally responsible for the welfare of your employee if someone has a drink related accident. Also, be mindful that some of your employees may be under the legal age to drink.
Set boundaries of how to behave
Research suggests that 1 in 2 colleagues end up fighting and 1 in 5 employees end up having an accident at a works ‘do’. Clarify how to behave and make it very clear that the Christmas party organised for employees is a work activity where a certain level of behaviour is expected. You don’t want to quash the Christmas spirit but if anything does get out of hand then be clear that it will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.
Avoid those awkward conversations
Some employees seem to think that it is acceptable to start discussions of promotion, salary increase, what Mildred is up to in Accounts (!). At all costs avoid these conversations and suggest that they are not appropriate for the party environment.
Common sense stuff really!
Merry Christmas and all the very best to you in 2014. Have fun.
By Sarah Seastron
Human Resources Consultant