Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 Tips to a Successful Christmas Party

The festive season is almost upon us and the most anticipated staff event of the year looming. Staff and business owners alike are all looking for a successful party but what does a successful Christmas Party really look like?

For staff it might be to let their hair down, connect socially with their colleagues and score a decent secret Santa gift. On the flip slide the business owner whilst wanting their staff to enjoy themselves, coming away from the event ‘incident free’ is often the definition of success.

More often than not Christmas festivities involve consumption of alcohol which can result in poor judgement from those under the influence. To keep your party on track and to ensure it’s a success from everyone’s perspective here’s our top tips to a “successful” Christmas party:

  1. Ensure your staff understand what suitable workplace behaviour is. Check your workplace policies are up to date and if not, dust them off, refresh and communicate them to your staff. The high priority policies are a drug and alcohol policy, sexual harassment policy, social media policy and a discrimination and bullying policy.
  2. Prior to the event, remind your staff about the spirit of the staff Christmas Party, function start and end times and the expected behaviour. Reinforce the Christmas party is still a work function and their behaviour must comply with the workplace policies, in particular those noted above.
  3. Ensure the quantity of alcohol being served is proportionate to the food being served and have water readily accessible and replenished at the table.  Try to serve meals soon after guests arrive to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed on an empty stomach.
  4. Avoid unlimited alcohol or access to a full bar from function commencement as this increases the risk of drinking to excess.
  5. Ensure that you have at least one senior sober employee who will oversee activities and be able to make wise decisions in the event they are required.  Let the team know who that person is, and that they are there to help if needed.
  6. Outline transport options to and from the venue.  Make it clear it’s the staff member’s responsibility to drink responsibly and where appropriate legally. If they intend to drink more than the legal limit then they should ensure they have arrangements to get home safely.
  7. Finally, if you do receive complaints as a result of the event, ensure you deal with them promptly and thoroughly.

If you require assistance preparing your workplace policies, general HR assistance or to discuss how to avoid a repeat of prior year’s incidents, please contact our HR Consulting Division, Providence HR on 07 3218 3919.

Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.