Seminar Focuses on Office Christmas Parties

Date: 20/12/2018
Author: GMCC
Company: GMCC

On the morning of the 13th December 2018, Freeths LLP and Greater Manchester Chamber were joined by HR professionals from various sectors in the first of a monthly series of HR seminars. This session’s topic was wellbeing, and with themes from Mental Health awareness to shared parental leave, there was plenty of food for thought.

At this time of year, one topic which is always a concern for HR staff is Christmas parties. Whilst most might enjoy winding down and celebrating the year gone by, it can be a minefield to organise and manage. From workplace bullying and harassment to the many issues surrounding alcohol, the roundtable shared experiences and advice for navigating this tricky period!

Key takeaways from this area of discussion were:

Send out some form of guidance to all staff in advance of the event!

Whether your party is at your offices or elsewhere, as it is still a work environment you may still be held liable for any grievances which may occur. Sending out a code of conduct with clear consequences will help to protect yourself should an incident occur, as well as ensure employees are aware of how they’re expected to behave.

Be inclusive!

Do you have employees who are underage, tee-total or have specific dietary requirements? Social politics or employees feeling isolated? Looking at taking simple precautions can be easy but make a big difference in allowing a positive celebration. Measures can include ensuring alcohol-free activities are available or implementing a seating plan to avoid conflict and ensure inclusivity.

Manage alcohol…

Whether you have under-18s, staff who celebrate a bit too hard, or employees who don’t drink at all, it’s important to be prepared! From simple measures such as ‘overage’ wristbands and setting clear guidance for senior employees, to more complex tasks such as ensuring that your event is inclusive and sufficiently controlled, it’s crucial to prepare so that things don’t get out of hand!

Christmas parties should be an inclusive and fun celebration of all the hard work from the previous year but can be spoilt by a lack of preparation. Don’t get caught out – by implementing a few steps, you can ensure that everyone has fun, without causing any further issues. Let us know what your business does to ensure a fun and relaxed Christmas party!

Our next seminar will be January 2019 and will focus on ACAS Conciliation and dispute resolution. If you’re a HR professional and interested in attending, please email benefits@gmchamber.co.uk to find out more!

Merry Christmas from GMCC and Freeths LLP!