Avoiding Christmas Party Disasters At The Workplace Equals Avoiding a Workplace Investigation.
The Christmas party is one of the highlights of the year for many employees. It’s a chance to celebrate the end of the year, have some fun and build team morale. But, it can also be a source of anxiety for employers who worry about the potential for workplace disasters.
As an employer, it’s important to make sure that your employees understand the rules of conduct at the Christmas party and that there’s a clear policy in place to manage any issues that may arise. With a few simple steps, you can ensure that your Christmas party is a success and avoid the potential for disasters.
What are the potential Christmas party disasters?
A Christmas party can be a fantastic opportunity for employees to celebrate the season and build team morale. However, it can also be a source of anxiety for employers who worry about the potential for workplace disasters.
With alcohol flowing freely and the stresses of the work year behind, employees are likely to let their guard down. This could lead to a range of issues including:
Sexual harassment – At the Christmas party, employees who have been under pressure all year may let their guard down. This can lead to instances of sexual harassment, particularly when alcohol is flowing freely and inhibitions are lowered.
Inappropriate conduct – Employees who have had too much to drink may behave inappropriately, whether that’s sexually harassing other employees, being overly aggressive or otherwise behaving badly.
Damaging reputation – Employees who have had too much to drink may damage the organization’s reputation. Some employees may engage in dangerous or illegal behavior, such as driving while intoxicated. Other employees may behave inappropriately or inappropriately touch other employees.
Health and safety issues – Employees who have had too much to drink may damage their own health. They may get behind the wheel after drinking and cause an accident. They may end up in a physical altercation or a sexual encounter that could lead to long-term health issues.
Setting expectations for the Christmas party
Before the party even begins, it’s important to set clear expectations for employees. You may want to include details about the party in the invitation. This will ensure that everyone is aware of the rules of conduct and that there are no surprises on the night.
Some things to think about when setting expectations for the Christmas party include:
Party venue – Where are you holding the party? If you’re hosting, you’ll want to make sure that the venue is large enough to accommodate all of your employees and that there is sufficient room for them to move around. If you’re looking for a venue, remember that many restaurants are extremely busy around Christmas and may not be able to accommodate you. Alternatively, you may want to consider hosting the party at your office.
Party menu – You may want to select a menu for the Christmas party that is both festive and appropriate for a work event. While most employers provide their employees with a reasonable meal, you may want to consider providing beverages for guests, since many restaurants limit alcohol consumption in order to comply with liquor laws.
Party games – Party games can be a great way to break the ice and build team morale. However, make sure that you are selective about which games you play. Some Christmas party games are inappropriate for a work event, particularly when alcohol is flowing freely.
Party end time – Some employers host the Christmas party on a Friday night, while others host a lunch event on a weekday. Make sure that you select an end time that is appropriate for the party. While you may want to keep the party going as long as possible, remember that you have employees who have to go home to families, spouses and children.
Setting a budget for the Christmas party
In addition to selecting an appropriate party venue and menu, you’ll also want to set a budget for the Christmas party. While Christmas parties don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, an appropriate budget will help you avoid unexpected expenses.
Creating a policy for the Christmas party
There are many ways to create a Christmas party policy, such as having a separate document or adding the rules to your employee handbook. There are a few important considerations when creating a Christmas party policy, including:
What is appropriate attire? – Will there be a dress code? What is expected attire? – What is expected behaviour? – What are the rules around alcohol consumption? What are the rules around gift exchanges? What is expected between employees and guests?
What is expected conduct in the office? – Will the party be held in the office? What are the rules around the workplace during the party? – What is expected conduct when employees are driving home? – What are the rules around driving home after the party?
Dealing with inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party
There will inevitably be some instances of inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party. Some of this may be due to poor judgment when consuming alcohol and other instances may be deliberate. However, most employers will have a policy in place for dealing with inappropriate behaviour and dealing with it quickly and appropriately.
Some key tips for dealing with inappropriate behaviour include:
Stay present – Make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and that you are not getting caught up in the party. Be aware of who is doing what and make sure that you are monitoring the situation.
Be quick to intervene – Make sure that you are quick to intervene when you notice an issue. Don’t ignore it and hope that it goes away. Intervene quickly to stop the behaviour before it escalates.
Separate the parties – Make sure that you are quick to intervene when you notice an issue. If one employee is being disruptive or problematic, try to separate them from the party.
Quickly report any issues – Make sure that you report incidents to your Human Resources department as soon as they happen. This will allow your HR department to begin addressing the issue as soon as possible.
Review the incident later – It’s important to deal with an incident when it happens, but it is also important to revisit the incident later. This will allow you to see how the incident could have been prevented and how you can prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
Ensuring responsible alcohol consumption
As an employer, it’s important to make sure that your employees are responsible when consuming alcohol. Make sure that there is a host who ensures that employees are not consuming too much alcohol.
Some tips for ensuring responsible alcohol consumption include:
Limit drinks – Make sure that there are limited options for alcohol and that employees are not able to consume as much alcohol as they’d like.
Limit time – Make sure that there is a time limit on the party and that employees cannot drink after a certain time. Set a time limit between 90 minutes and two hours. – Hosts should be trained to look for signs of intoxication and should immediately remove the drink from the hand of an intoxicated person.
Christmas is a great time of the year to get together and celebrate but just be aware that it can quickly turn into a very difficult situation for the company.
If there is an incident at the workplace Christmas Party, Call Jolasers to discuss what you need to do. Click Here for contact details.
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