Do you remember last year’s End of Year Office Party?
Do you remember it for the right reasons?
Unfortunately statistics show that half of office parties end up with colleagues fighting; a third in unwanted sexual advances from a co-worker; over half end up with someone passionately kissing the boss or another colleague!
At best these things could make for an embarrassing morning after, at worse they could result in a lengthy grievance or disciplinary investigation!
Whilst we all need a chance to let our hair down and say thank you to our staff for all of their hard work throughout the year, we must remember this is a company event, therefore company rules and policies apply!
There are a few things worth remembering:
– An office party is an extension of work therefore all company rules still apply. If you make a proposition (such as a promotion) whilst merry it is still considered a verbal contract.
– If you supply alcohol you could be held responsible for any potential problems. This could include accidents, property damage etc.
– Do provide your employees with a Party Policy; this should include your expectation of their behavior during and after the party.This should include a reminder that irresponsible behavior will have consequences.
– If providing alcohol, think about limiting the amount you supply. Providing an unlimited free bar may bring you more than just a big bill! Consider supplying bar tokens to limit the alcohol intake. You may want to think about providing transport, this would show that you have considered how you staff will make their way home after the event. Consider arranging a bus to and from the venue or at the very least supply numbers of local taxi firms.
– Consider your colleagues who are unable to drink alcohol. For example employers cannot allow under 18’s to drink, certain religions discourage alcohol consumption or it may just be a personal choice on the part of the employee. Always ensure there are alcohol free alternatives.
– Reminding people that a romantic encounter with a colleague that might seem like a good idea at the time however, could prove embarrassing the next day!
– Make sure your employees declare gifts that are exchanged on the night from clients. It is your responsibility to ensure that the gifts do not breach the Bribery Act regulations.
– Secret Santa… not everyone has your sense of humour; a gift meant with tongue in cheek could end up as grounds for harassment.
– Remember not everyone wants to join in the celebrations, be mindful of colleagues that do not want to take part or may require small changes to enjoy themselves.
We all want everyone to enjoy themselves so expecting the best and planning for the worst is our approach..
Planned well a festive party can boost staff morale and it is also a nice way for you to show your recognition for the hard work your employees put in throughout the year.