Crossing Christmas Party Lines
The office Christmas party is an occasion that many Kiwi’s look forward to all year. It’s the ideal opportunity for employees and employers to get together in a more relaxed environment and toast to the year that has been.
For some though, the grey area between social outing and work function can easily become blurred. Especially when sun and alcohol are in the mix.
It is the job of the employer to ensure everyone knows the behavioural guidelines of the event and how they are expected to behave. Unfortunately, without guidance, some can take the relaxed feel of the event too far. Sometimes resulting in being the cause of Monday gossip, sometimes resulting in much worse, such as disciplinary processes and occasionally even dismissal.
Setting some simple rules in advance and sharing these with all who are attending will help to ensure their safety and enjoyment. Providing food, itineraries, safe transport options and leading by example are the basics of a strong plan of action that will help the event run smoothly.
Many employers choose to give their staff a little ‘leeway’ during the Christmas party. But it is vital that they understand the signs of those who are crossing the Christmas party lines and that they know when to interfere. Removing people from the situation is often the best way to diffuse an issue.
Morally, the safety of staff is within the hands of the employer. Realising when someone feels uncomfortable, unsafe or unwell and aiding their situation will separate the good from the bad.
The employer doesn’t need to necessarily view their role as that of a ‘baby-sitter’ but see themselves rather as the one who ensures everyone is safe and comfortable. Bringing everyone together in a carefully planned out event that represents the brand and their company ethos.
Team building and bonding activities, with family invited, can be a great alternative to the classic ‘office party’.
An occasion that can be the highlight for some, can be problematic for employers and sometimes employees. Management, guidelines and action plans will ensure the office Christmas function runs as smoothly as possible this year and is something every employee looks forward to for years to come.