Banning Christmas parties would mean a much quieter Christmas for The HR Dept! We have dealt with multiple fallouts from Christmas party antics over the years, as a result of a punch being thrown or people upsetting each other by fuelling the rumour mill – and most of it is alcohol related.
Despite warnings every year, it appears people forget a business Christmas party is actually an extension of the workplace, and the same rules apply as in the workplace. It is of course not about ruining the Christmas spirit or stopping employees enjoying themselves, but trying to protect the business from unwanted tribunal claims or difficult and probably avoidable scenarios within the workforce.
HR Dept top tips for an easier Christmas time are:
• Warn everyone about their behaviour – you aren’t a horrible boss for doing it, you’re just making sure you reinforce the rules
• Make sure everyone is included and invited to whatever you do, they can be great team building events and a great way to say thank you
• Make sure under 18s aren’t drinking
• Be aware of religious sensitivities
• Drinking the bar dry shouldn’t be the stated objective of the evening
• If there is an issue, use common sense and note down what has happened and take appropriate action. Regardless of the situation, don’t sack someone on the spot
• Be mindful that Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many people
• No mistletoe, it just asks for trouble
• Swap the secret Santa for a great Christmas bake off
Peter Jones from The HR Dept Swindon says: “It’s a busy time of year for The HR Dept. Most business owners want to get their busy Christmas period over with and start planning for the New Year, they don’t want to deal with the fall-out from a Christmas party. Many of our customers have opted to have a celebration in January as it then doesn’t have the stigma attached to Christmas and represents more of a thank you. Every year we issue the same warning to help employers; the key is to make sure everyone is warned about their behaviour.”