Christmas Parties – The Risks and How to Keep it Fun.
Posted on 20th December 2023 at 11:17
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As the festive season rolls around, many companies and their teams understandably get hyped up for their Christmas parties. These events are a chance for the team to relax, bond, and let loose a bit. But for the HR and management crew, it can be a bit of a hassle, with a bunch of potential issues on the horizon. In this blog, we're going to dig into the common troubles that Christmas parties can bring and share some simple tips on how to dodge them.
1. Booze-Related Drama.
Okay, so one of the biggest worries at Christmas bashes is the alcohol factor. Sure, it's cool to have a few drinks to celebrate, but when folks overdo it, things can get messy. Employees might say or do things they'll regret later, leading to problems like harassment complaints and even legal headaches.
How to steer clear:
• Remind people to be sensible with their alcohol consumption – they know their limits.
• Maybe offer a limited number of drink vouchers.
• Ask people to drink responsibly and arrange designated drivers, car shares or taxis.
• Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks on hand.
• Keep an eye on behaviours and step in if things get out of control.
2. Inappropriate Behaviour.
Alcohol can lower inhibitions, which can lead to inappropriate behaviour and harassment. People might make unwanted advances or offensive comments, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere for everyone.
How to avoid it:
• Give everyone a reminder about the company's code of conduct before the party.
• Set up an easy way for people to report bad behaviour.
• Encourage a buddy system where employees look out for each other.
3. Being Inclusive.
Christmas parties are supposed to be a blast for everyone, but they might make some feel left out, especially if they don't celebrate Christmas.
How to make it more inclusive:
• Go for a diverse and inclusive theme.
• Offer a variety of holiday-themed activities or decorations so people can choose what they're comfortable with.
• Consider a neutral theme that celebrates the season in a broader way.
• Keep dietary restrictions in mind when planning the menu.
4. Overtime and Attendance Issues.
Christmas parties are meant to be a fun break from work, but some employees might feel pressured to show up even if they've got other plans. This can lead to attendance and overtime problems, not to mention grumbling employees.
How to avoid it:
• Make it clear that attending the party is totally optional.
• Plan the timing of the event clearly to avoid any misunderstandings.
• Be considerate of people's time and don't guilt them into coming.
5. Gifting and Favouritism.
Exchanging gifts is a fun tradition during the holidays, but at work, it can sometimes lead to feelings of favouritism, awkwardness or feeling left out.
How to make it more chill:
• Try a low-cost Secret Santa gift exchange that’s open to all but voluntary, and set a spending limit.
• Remind everyone that it's a bit of fun, it’s the thought that counts, not the price tag.
Christmas parties are a great way to celebrate the holiday season and boost team spirit. But they can also bring a bunch of management headaches if things aren't handled right. By taking a proactive approach, setting some clear ground rules, and making sure everyone feels included and respected, HR folks can help keep the Christmas party an awesome experience for all. Remember, the goal is to make great memories!
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