Wouldn’t it be nice if we could “idiot-proof” the world?
When it comes to workplace Christmas parties, it can be surprising what your normally sensible, mature and reliable staff get up to. That’s why it’s important to set parameters around what’s acceptable before the event and then diligently monitor what’s happening at the event.
The Staff Christmas Party Is For Staff – Not You!
At the Christmas party, your job is to keep everyone safe and well-behaved. So lead by example – stay sober and alert. You never know. You may be called upon to intervene before things get out-of-hand.
So What Can Go Wrong At The Work Christmas party? Let Me Share A Few Stories With You
- On a harbour cruise, a staff member had a bit too much to drink, slipped and shattered her ankle. She was on workers’ comp for 2 years before it was decided she would never work again.
- A drunk staff member verbally insulted the boss’ wife. The boss was also drunk. The staff member and boss came to blows on the dance floor – not a professional look!
- On a party bus, a staff member decided to do backflips down the aisle. He damaged the bus and put a large dent in the reputation of his employer’s reputation.
In each example, the business was dealing with the implications of these mishaps for months (or even years) after the Christmas party.
So if you’re looking to idiot-proof your workplace Christmas party this year, here are a few tips to guide you.
Tip 1 – Make It Clear, The Work Christmas Party Is Not A Booze-Up!
- It starts with the business owner and senior managers setting the right example. You can’t get drunk. Remember, your behaviour sets the standards for everyone else.
- Check that your current policy documents include expectations on alcohol and recreational drugs, social media, sexual harassment and bullying. If they don’t, quickly get in touch with the End2End team so we can put it together for you now.
- Give every staff member a copy of your policies.
- Make it a condition for attending the Christmas party that every staff member confirms (in writing) that they have read and understood the policy. Also, include information on who to talk to if staff have questions.
Tip 2 – Consider Having A Lunchtime Christmas Party
Most businesses are super busy in the lead-up to Christmas but if you plan ahead, most customers will understand if you and the team take some time out to celebrate Christmas.
Run the lunch for 2-3 hours, then give everyone the afternoon off. You will look like a hero while restricting the drinking time. Let’s face it, we all love a bit of extra time to do our Christmas shopping, collect the kids from school or just enjoy escaping work a bit earlier.
Tip 3 – Distract, Entertain And Recognise
When people have things to do, they have less time to drink so make sure there’s the entertainment of some sort at your workplace Christmas party. It could be playing a social match of cricket, barefoot bowls or tennis. Or you could have a dance floor and a great DJ or band. Just make sure there’s plenty of non-alcoholic drink options available.
Also, consider including a staff recognition and rewards element to the Christmas party. Everyone loves to be recognised for their hard work and a tradition like this has the added benefit of helping to motivate staff throughout the coming year.
Tip 4 – Be The Last To Leave
As a business owner or manager, you have a duty of care that extends to your workplace Christmas party. That means you and your management team must stay until the last employee leaves.
If you have concerns about how they will get home, drive them yourself or pay for a taxi to take them home.
NEVER, EVER allow staff to leave the party with alcohol – that includes unopened bottles – as you will be deemed responsible if something goes wrong. In other words, all alcohol consumption must be monitored by you and be restricted to the event.
We Can’t Idiot-Proof The World, But …
Accidents happen and we can’t anticipate the unexpected. But we can set behaviour expectations and monitor staff conduct at the work Christmas party.
The trick is to be well prepared.
If you’d like help to keep your team on Santa’s nice list, get in touch with End2End Business Solutions. We can check your policies will protect you and guide you on how to have a safe but fun staff Christmas party.
For help call End2End on 02 8977 4002.