Guiding the Festive Spirit: Managing Employee Behaviour at Christmas Parties

The Christmas period can be an enjoyable time for employees in the workplace with social events, heightened spirits and (sometimes) a slowdown in the pace of work. Work Christmas parties are a good way to boost staff morale and make employees feel appreciated. To ensure that celebrations remain enjoyable and in line with the company’s values, it is crucial that employers manage employee behaviour during these festivities.

Clearly communicate your expectations for employee behaviour before the event. Remind employees that the party is a work-related function and professional conduct is expected.

Clearly outline any specific rules, such as a dress code, acceptable behaviour, and adherence to company policies.

Reiterate relevant company policies related to behaviour, harassment, and alcohol consumption. Ensure that employees are aware of the expectations and consequences of inappropriate conduct.

If alcohol is served at the party, some employees may choose to indulge. It is important for both employees and employers to be mindful of their alcohol consumption to avoid any embarrassing or unprofessional situations.

If the party involves alcohol consider providing options for transportation such as arranging for designated drivers, or prebooking taxis.

Consider cultural and religious differences when planning and organising the party to ensure that all employees feel included and comfortable.

During the party keep an eye on social dynamics to ensure everyone feels included.

Remind employees to be respectful and considerate in their interactions. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, so it is essential to be sensitive to diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

Despite clear expectations there may be instances of inappropriate behaviour. If any inappropriate behaviour occurs, address it promptly and discreetly; handling issues in a timely manner helps maintain a positive work environment.

Remind employees to be cautious about what they share on social media during and after the event. Inappropriate photos or comments can reflect poorly on the company and individuals.

After the party consider sending a follow-up email thanking employees for their attendance and reminding them of any key takeaways or highlights of the event. This can also be an opportunity to address any behaviour concerns discreetly.

By proactively communicating expectations, promoting responsible behaviour, and addressing issues promptly you can help ensure that your work Christmas party is a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.