Avoiding the Work Christmas Party headaches

As we snowball into the festive season, talk is inevitably turning to the work Christmas party.

You’ve been working hard for the whole year and now it’s time to slip into your most flattering Christmas jumper and have some festive fun!

But for many bosses, the prospect of the office Christmas party is enough to send them headfirst into the Eggnog. Novelty jumper-clad staff, fuelled by a mix of alcohol and the shedding of work stresses and relaxed inhibitions, can be a heady mix indeed – plus of course, the inevitable HR investigation into who photocopied their bum and posted it on the office noticeboard. Errr…. it wasn’t me Officer – honestly!
But before you all dash off to cancel the annual turkey and tinsel disco, let’s not forget that a Christmas party, isn’t just about getting everyone together for a jolly. Ultimately, it’s a thank you from management to the staff of all their hard work throughout the year. They’ve endured a year of emails, meetings and early starts, and now it’s time to have a bit of collective fun and let their hair down together. And it’s a great opportunity to really get to know each other – giving employees a chance to build a rapport with one another which can yield long-term results further down the line in a working environment.

And NOT to host a Christmas Party sends out a negative message, leaving employees feeling unappreciated. It also makes you look like a scrooge – so, pop your reindeer antlers on and get that credit card out… as there are some definite benefits to having a party………….

• Entertaining your staff at Christmas will see them return the favour in hard work, loyalty and motivation into 2019
• The event itself provides an excellent opportunity to reiterate and deliver key company messages, recognition awards and plans for the year ahead
• You can incorporate fun into your event with icebreakers and teambuilding activities to strengthen team dynamic and unite the workforce
• Believe it or not there are tax benefits to hosting an Office Christmas Party! Believe it or not ……………..HMRC wants you to let your hair down and have a good time!
• Encouraging management and staff to mingle outside of a work setting boosts morale

And here are my five top tips for keeping the Christmas party trouble-free?

1. Make sure your venue, theme or venue are inclusive and appealing to all
2. Consider your social media policy in advance – does your company have a social media policy?? If not, it may be an idea to draft one to protect your business. Drunken or inappropriate pictures on Facebook could have a damaging impact on your brand or your staff. Consider whether is appropriate and create guidelines around what is acceptable in relation to your business – and then tell your staff. They need to know.
3. It’s in everyone’s interests to have a fun but safe evening. One way to minimise risk is to control the alcohol you provide and lay on food – you could run a free bar for a limited period, then convert to a cash bar later on. Or take it a step further and hold the event during the day instead, which enables you to shift the focus away from alcohol and puts a natural cap on drinking
4. Organise end of evening transport home, with a fixed finish time – this is a quadruple win as it puts a cap on the evening, makes sure everyone is home safely and helps ensure that everyone in the office at a decent time and state the next day, whilst feeling thankful for your overwhelming generosity!
5. Be clear in advance about your expectations regarding absence the next day – this will ensure that there are no surprises and if expectations are breached, disciplinary action can be taken

Have fun guys!!

p.s. if you want me to take a glance at your social media, socialising policies or disciplinary policies give me a buzz now and we can pencil in to review them before your Christmas party. It shouldn’t take long and could help you manage any potential Christmas party headaches