The HR Dept Newcastle
Jayne Hart

How to avoid the dangers of Christmas parties

With the news still full of harassment claims the Christmas party season should put all businesses into a state of alert. Parties are fun and we certainly do not want to be a spoilsport but with nine out of ten businesses reporting having problems from the work Christmas do, it’s important to bear in mind how a morale boost can quickly turn into a disciplinary after too many drinks. Reminding everyone about how they should behave and act is appropriate and reasonable and making sure people know that this is an extension of work. Perhaps warning them that this is not the time to tell the boss what they think of them nor ask for a pay rise! Here are a few useful HR tips for Tyneside business owners to help get the best out their Christmas party:

  • Make sure everyone is included and invited - They can be great team building events and a good way to say thank you for staff efforts over the previous year.
  • Ensure under- 18’s aren’t drinking and that a good supply of soft drinks are available.
  • Drinking the bar dry shouldn’t be the stated objective of the evening.
  • Be very aware of religious sensitivities and ensure all dietary requirements are catered for.
  • If there is an issue, use common sense - Note down what’s happened and take appropriate action. Regardless of the situation, don’t sack someone on the spot.
  • Provide transport if possible so that staff get home safely.
  • Be mindful that Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some people.
  • No mistletoe, it just asks for trouble! Most events go without a hitch. But if bosses are worried about potential workplace incidents, they shouldn’t ban the party altogether. It could be hosted after the New Year. It would still give teams a morale boost, and many will be doing Dry January!

Jayne Hart, Director at The HR Dept Newcastle, said: “Christmas parties are a great place for staff to let their hair down and have some fun, but it can often end terribly if people go out too much. “It can be tempting to make the end of year bash the biggest perk of the job, with a large bar tab and endless drinks - but letting staff know you appreciate them across the year works well too. “Other ways to make staff feel rewarded include benefits packages, flexible working and a bonus”.

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