Christmas partyWe’re well and truly into November now and no doubt most workplaces have booked and planned their Christmas party. But it’s fair to say the workplace Christmas party gets its fair share of bad press. From punch-ups and offensively drunk staff, to extra-marital activities and unwanted advances, we’ve all heard the horror stories.  I certainly remember a few in my time!!  So depending on just how cautious you like to be in your business, you might think you’d be better off cancelling the whole thing and saving yourself the headache.

But before you rush into anything (and your remembered as Scrooge by your workforce), remember your staff have worked hard, and they deserve an opportunity to let their hair down. A festive get-together could prove to be just what you need to show your appreciation of their efforts and boost morale.  What’s important here is that you’re prepared for the unexpected. So I thought I’d share a few thoughts on things to consider to make sure your Christmas celebrations go with a bang.

Remind your staff of your standards 

Now could be a good time to remind your employees about what’s expected from them.  At the end of the day, your staff are adults and should know how to conduct themselves at work and in related social situations, but there’s no harm in issuing a reminder.  It’s about making sure everyone understands what’s acceptable, and what will happen if their behaviour falls below those standards.

Get yourself organised 

Planning is extremely important, so be sure to consider absolutely everything. From where you’ll hold the event, to how people will get home safely at the end of the evening, through to the arrangements for being in work the next day.  Problems can often be avoided if you’ve considered your approach in advance.  It makes sense to get your staff involved in the planning process, to ensure their views are taken into account and they have the option to contribute ideas.

Consider differing preferences 

Not everyone’s the same. A night of drinking isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, so think about how you can make the event appeal to your diverse workforce.  If you’re providing catering, consider any dietary requirements.  You’re never going to be able to please everyone, especially if you have a large team, but it makes sense to consider tastes and preferences.  Finally, on this point, going along to the Christmas party should never be mandatory, so don’t make your staff feel like they’re obliged to make an appearance. We don’t advocate forcing fun on anyone!

Relax a little! 

At the end of the day, your Christmas party should be fun and enjoyable for everyone, including you. You should be able to let your hair down and celebrate alongside your team. If you’ve thought this through and covered the points we’ve talked about here, then it’s unlikely you’ll experience any significant problems. Your staff are probably just looking forward to having a good time, and aren’t secretly plotting to cause riots or bring your business into disrepute!

If you’ve got concerns about this year’s Christmas party, and you’d like to have a chat with an HR expert, pick up the phone and give us a call. We want to make sure your festivities go with a swing and everyone ends up on the good list this year.