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Avoid HR disasters at your Christmas Party!

David Bates
Friday, October 25, 2013

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Getting ready to host your company’s annual Christmas Party? Here are some helpful hints to ensure your event is merry in all the right ways.



Tip 1: Make Someone Responsible

The easiest thing you can do to help reduce the chances of an HR disaster is to put someone responsible in charge. Assign responsibility for the event to a sensible, senior member of your team who is happy either not to drink or to keep their drinking to a minimum.

Keep in mind though that under Australia’s new Workplace Health and Safety laws, most senior employees are considered ‘Officers’ who have a Duty of Due Diligence that can’t be delegated to another employee.

Tip 2: Set Clear Expectations

Your company Christmas Party is exactly that: a company event. This means all of your usual employer-related obligations will apply for the duration of the party, regardless of whether it’s held in the office or on the beach. It’s therefore essential that you take pro-active steps to ensure everyone knows how they’re expected to behave, and what will happen if their conduct doesn’t measure up.

Tip 3: Choose Your Venue Carefully

Having your Christmas party at a park or a family-friendly restaurant is a much safer option than having it at an adult-themed venue! You may think this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised just how many employers set the wrong tone for their event by selecting the wrong type of venue.

Choose a place that’s safe, work-appropriate and easy to access for all your employees. If you chose a relatively public space, reserve a dedicated area that will remain within your control throughout the event.

Tip 4: Set an End Time

Make sure everyone knows when your party officially ends. Put another way, make the distinction between the end of your company-sanctioned Christmas party and the start of unrelated shenanigans as clear as possible. One of the clearest signals you can give to your staff that the event is over is to physically close down the venue at the scheduled end time.

By following all of the above hints and tips you can quickly, easily and effectively minimise the risks of your company Christmas party turning into a not-so-merry mess.

Published: Friday, October 25, 2013


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