T’is the Season to be Jolly
28 October 2021
We all love Christmas and the holiday season. As HR consultants, we are asked to advise upon professional guidelines to ensure that parties and celebrations don’t turn into incidents. This time of year should be a great time for business, with customers either excitedly spending more or allowing you that time to focus a little more internally on all the things you’ve planned to get done but haven’t had time to do. Your employees are happily looking forward to the Christmas party and a chance to unwind and celebrate a year well done with colleagues. But, unfortunately it can also be an event that affects both business and careers well past the end of the party.
How do you prevent poor behaviour or inappropriate incidents, that can turn the perfect Christmas event into a perfect disaster? With goodwill in our hearts we would like to share some thoughtful perimeters for your consideration;
5 Tips for ensuring your Christmas Party is remembered for all the right reasons
Everyone has worked hard and wants to be able to join in the fun, so choose an event that suits the majority of the group to the best of your ability. Hiring an opera singer for the evening is probably not going to impress the predominately younger males of a mechanics workshop. Similarly, arranging an afternoon out at go-kart racing is not going to work for the nursing team at a retirement village either. Or perhaps it would??
Get to know the team, their likes and dislikes early in the year. If possible get them involved in arranging the event so they have a say. Hopefully you can relax and enjoy it too.
2. Alcohol management
Alcohol is the biggest risk factor for bad behaviour. With alcohol comes the risk of impaired judgement. Not knowing when to stop drinking can lead to behaviours that most people would never think they are capable of including harassing a colleague or inappropriate language or comments. Even innocent comments may not be perceived that way by someone under the influence of alcohol and create problems that are difficult to overcome.
If alcohol is served at your Christmas party, make sure to exercise discretion. If you are an employer who will have alcohol served for your employees, you need to ensure responsible service of alcohol laws are followed and consider how your employees will get home safely after the event.
3. Remember, you are still at work
Even though it may be the one time you have to let your hair down all year, be mindful that it is still an official work function and company policies and procedures still apply. Even if you are drunk when you make that offensive joke and don’t remember it in the morning, others will and it could have disastrous long term effects on your career. Christmas parties can be a great place to get to know your colleagues and recognise all the hard work during the year, but it is important to have a level professionalism at all times.
So here is the tricky bit, remember you are still at work but not in a meeting or a performance evaluation discussion. The Christmas party is all about enjoying your colleagues’ company, not discussing the development of your latest project and how hard you’ve worked to achieve the deadlines. And never discuss pay raises or promotions–you never know you else can hear you.
4. Be social media aware
Gone are the days of “What happened at the Christmas Party stays at the Christmas Party”. Your Christmas party blooper is highly like to end up on Facebook or Twitter or Tik Tok or any number of social media platforms. If you are the social media expert in the room, remember the privacy and anti-bullying policies of your company. If your company doesn’t have written policies, err on the side of caution. Check with the people in the photos that they’re okay with it being posted, because once they are out there you can’t undo it.
5. Have Fun
So you think you can manage all of that, OK, now go out and have fun. Mingle with people you don’t normally work with, talk about things other than work and enjoy the festive food and drink. You work hard all year long, and deserve to enjoy the holiday season.
Helping you avoid issues now and into the future is what we do. If you need help contact us for an obligation free discussion or call on 1300 474 672
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