Most of us enjoy the work’s Christmas night out. The fun, the banter, a chance to let your hair down and have a laugh and a joke with friends and colleagues. But occasionally, after a few drinks, events can get out of control. Staff can end up warding off unwanted sexual advances, alcohol-fuelled brawls can break out, near to the knuckle jokes and comments turn out to be discriminatory and offensive, and, to top it all, some employees may be too hung over, or embarrassed to come to work the next day!
Here’s 8 simple rules to help your Work’s Christmas party go with a swing, and finish with a smile, whether it is in a 5 star hotel, a city center restaurant, the local pub, or the company Board Room.
Company rules still apply no matter where you are, or how late it is. Inappropriate conduct can still be a disciplinary offence!
Don’t encourage excessive drinking. The fact you’ve supplied drinks, and possibly encouraged drinking may be used to excuse offensive behaviour by drunken employees.
Don’t encourage drink driving, in fact you must positively guard against it. Where possible arrange alternative transport for those who want to drink.
Remember your duty of care to staff. Keep a watchful eye on those who’ve drank too much and may be vulnerable.
The use of any controlled drugs is an offence. Make it clear, it’s gross misconduct, wherever it occurs.
Avoid conversations about performance and careers. A drunken promise is still a promise!
Make sure everyone can get home after the party’s finished. Either provide transport or end the event before public transport stops. As a minimum make sure employees know to make arrangements to get home.
If the next day is a work day, for some or all staff, be clear about your expectations regarding performance and attendance the next day.