HR Elite encourage Christmas parties as it can boost morale and increase productivity in the run up to the day. We also encourage a statement to be issued to remind your staff about the rules and expectations whilst representing the company. If you need any assistance over the Christmas period; we have created a Festive Pack to assist you. This includes;
- Statement to all employees regarding conduct at the Christmas party
- Policy regarding arrangements over the Christmas period
- Policy on work related social events
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to receive one!
The Do’s and Don’ts of the Company Christmas Party
The Christmas party is the social event of the year for most. It is a time to forget about hitting targets, making sales and catching up on emails. The buzz surrounding the party can be for months beforehand as the planning can cause a stir in the company. There are always some people who forget their place and can cause a disruption to the night, so we have written a guide of do’s and don’ts to assist both the company and the employee on what is expected of them at any work social event. A company party is an extension of the workplace so yes, rules need to be followed. The company name and reputation need to be upheld and we hope our key points below keeps them both intact.
Do the normal rules apply?
Yes they do – although a social work event can be an excuse to let your hair down, the same rules apply as they do in the work environment. This is in regard to employee conduct towards each other, staff of the establishment and other party goers. Alcohol (if served) can alter a person’s personality and perception and give them confidence to voice their opinions even if they may not be appropriate. HR Elite would suggest sending out a memo or statement before the Christmas party to clearly outline their expectations and the consequences if the company rules are broken.
Do you invite everyone?
It is fair to invite all employees of all religions and faiths. Although Christmas is a Christian holiday, a company party is more focussed as an event to celebrate the last year of work and thank their employees for their hard work. It is also encouraged to invite employees on long term absences (sick leave/maternity leave etc) to ensure fair treatment.
Can you control the amount of alcohol?
Depending on the type of location you choose to hold the company Christmas party, this may be possible. If using a restaurant, a drink limit per person at the table may be sufficient as after this the employee would be paying for themselves if they wish to consume more alcohol. In a hall location, a cash bar may be prudent to avoid the possibility of binge drinking. It would also be responsible to hire minibuses or taxis in preparation of the party to take the staff home or back to the office.
Don’t forget you are technically still at work
If you are a manager and attending the Christmas party, you will still have a responsibility for your staff. Overseeing the event may stifle your enjoyment, however the threat of vicarious liability is real. Vicarious liability is negligence in the act of an employee’s actions against another where the company may not think they are responsible, in this case; the office Christmas party. There have been many claims over the years of incidents involving gross misconduct at a company event outside of the normal office location and the High Court have decided vicarious liability. It may be beneficial to assign a team of employees who would remain sober to overlook the event and ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone in attendance.
Don’t be violent/aggressive or harass anyone
Gross misconduct is the main trigger for complaints over the Christmas period. The excitement surrounding the party can often cause employees to forget their place and the rules put in place by the company to protect them. The end of the year can be a relief to some, who have struggled completing work due to another employee’s incompetence or even those who have been involved in arguments or grievances. This can sometimes come to a head with the wish to start a fresh in the new year. Often last comments are wanting to be said and this can cause upset or even turn violent. Alcohol can fuel this anger and some employees, even though are at a work event may take it upon themselves to confront another employee. These types of situations are the reason why we suggest sending out a statement to ensure all policies are read and understood. This protects the company if something should happen that is out of their control.
Don’t try to haggle a pay rise
The company party is not the time or the place to ask for a pay rise. Although the environment is much more relaxed than the office, this is a definite no. Asking for a pay increase is a delicate matter and should only be spoken about in a business environment, sober and with a supporting case. The success of receiving a pay rise at a social event will highly be zero and may come across as unprofessional – scarpering any future possibilities.
Don’t forget to have fun!
The company party is most importantly a celebration of everyone’s hard work from the past year. Try not to talk about work and enjoy getting to know your colleagues a little better. Bonding over shared interests and talking about current events can help your employees engage with you better in the office. Allowing your workforce to see you as their manager, relaxed and stress-free makes you more approachable and can be beneficial throughout the year.
Call our friendly HR consultants on 01206 700 690 or visit our website www.hrelite.co.uk for more information.