5 HR Tips for Your Work Christmas Party

People sitting and celebrating Christmas Party

The company Christmas party is a great opportunity to network with colleagues and build relationships in a fun, relaxed environment. Letting staff cut loose at the Christmas party should be within reason. Specifically, you don’t want their activities to pose potential risks to health and safety or even have legal repercussions. It is a work function, after all, and your employees need to be reminded of that. 

Sometimes people indulge a little more than they usually do at staff Christmas parties. It’s good to have some fun after a year of hard work, but it can come with some risks such as workplace bullying or disagreements.

We know how to party (appropriately) at Happy HR, and that’s why we’ve got some tips to share with you on how to run a successful event that mitigates risk and stress for everyone involved. Happy HR is a cloud-based software company that automates and organises your HR processes. Read to see what we recommend doing for safe and fun office Christmas parties!

Have an Alcohol Waiver

An effective idea to protect your company’s interests is to have your employees sign an alcohol waiver before the event. This agreement ensures that employees are aware and agree that their participation in the event is voluntary and will drink alcohol at their own discretion, risk and liability.

It should also mention that the company will not be held liable for any harm or loss to them due to their participation in the event. 

This may seem like an unnecessary measure to some, but it will give you peace of mind at the party and help avoid any indsicretions and inappropriate behaviour. 

Send Out an Email Outlining the Rules

Putting ground rules in place is a good way to remind people how to behave in an office setting. Sending out an email or document outlining the company’s code of conduct will remind your employees of the behavioural expectations at the workplace.

A company Christmas party is still a work event, so they shouldn’t say or do anything that they wouldn’t normally do at work. 

These rules should clearly state basic guidelines around code of conduct. Here is a list of things you can include in your document:

  • Any form of inappropriate language, behaviour or bullying will not be tolerated
  • Gifts should be workplace friendly
  • Be responsible with the use of social media
  • Be respectful of all religions during the Christmas celebrations

Employees should be made aware that if they break the rules, it may lead to disciplinary action or even the termination of their contract.

Have a Party Marshall

Having a designated Marshall at the party will keep everyone on their best behaviour. You should tell your employees that the marshall is not supposed to be the fun police; they are actually just there to protect everyone and make sure that nothing gets out of hand. 

The Marshall ideally should be someone in management who will mingle with everyone and let people know if they’re getting out of line. It should be understood that if someone receives a comment from the marshall, then they should take it seriously.

They don’t have to be intimidating or heavy-handed. An example of what they could say could be, ”You’ve had a bit too much to drink, maybe have a glass of water and take a moment to regroup”.

Have Designated Timings

Specifying the hours of the company Christmas party lets employees know two things: when it’s an official work event and when it’s not. So if they choose to carry on elsewhere after the party, then it’s on their own personal capacity and time. It also means that your company will not be responsible for inappropriate behaviour off the premises and after the designated time period.

This is why it’s also preferable to ask everyone to leave the venue when the party ends just to make sure that your company is no longer responsible for any misadventures. 

A clever option would be to have the company Christmas party during the day. If you start in the afternoon and end at around five, it will encourage people to behave how they normally would during office hours.

It also gives people the choice to carry on building their relationships after the event or go home to spend time with their families. Just make sure that everyone who drank alcohol gets a taxi ride to their next destination.

We Have Fun

Staff Christmas parties exist for your hard-working staff to have fun. It doesn’t have to be another boring cocktail party with people just standing around talking. You can have a Christmas theme party or Secret Santa, with everyone dressing up and giving out gifts.

You could also play games or have a raffle to decide who wins what present. Alternatively, you could move the venue away from the office and do a fun activity together, like bowling or an escape room.

The important thing is that everyone has a wonderful time but not at the expense of anyone else. If you want to hear more about our HR tips, or HR support services, feel free to contact us, and our friendly team will be happy to help.