Happy Ho-Ho-Holidays to both employers and apprentices – This the season to be jolly and end the year with a company celebration. It must be remembered that this year end function is still a business event and what may be acceptable while letting your hair down with your friends, might be frowned upon by your colleagues and management team. Here are a few pointers to bear in mind when organising and attending the company Christmas party.
As the party organiser you have an obligation that the attendees are kept safe – you must ensure that you have undertaken a Work Health & Safety check and assessment to identify any safety hazards. Employers should monitor and restrict access to hazardous areas during the party to reduce the risk of injury to employees, or the employer could be held liable for injuries and damages incurred.
To survive with your professional reputation intact and make the most of the company Christmas party here are some pointers:
Set Limits – Decide on your own code of conduct as expected at work events before setting out.
Dress Appropriately – Think smart casual, not nightclub or barbeque garb. If you would not wear it to the office during the day then it’s probably best left in your cupboard for this event. If there is a dress code – strictly adhere to it.
Turn Up – Even if you haven’t felt the love for a while, you hate your co-workers, and you would rather put pins in your eyes than listening to Wham’s last Christmas, turn up! If you have said you will be at the party it is better to arrive as your absence will be noted.
Keep It Positive and Mingle – Spread yourself thin and talk to everyone but keep your tone neutral and interested, don’t be too intrusive. Steer away from bringing up sore points at the company like policies you may think of as being unfair. Gossip and badmouthing colleagues is also best avoided at the event (it can be a real downer).
Don’t Drink Too Much – stay sober – you’ll never regret drinking too little. Many a career has been sunk because of too much alcohol. We’ve all read about tragic accidents, affairs, fights, anti-social behavior, harassment that will leave more than a bad taste in your mouth.
Always remember your Plan B as losing your drivers license might lead to you having no job and no prospects.
Think Before You Post – Know your company’s Social Media Policy, with everyone potentially carrying a camera in their pocket at the party, smart phones increase the risk of exposing the company to damaging or embarrassing content. Inappropriate photos’ or posts on social media may give rise to claims relating to privacy breaches and defamation.
Be The Lookout – Notice that someone’s ear is being bent, maybe you can step in and redirect the conversation. Notice a colleague drinking too much – best to order a cab or offer to drive them home. Needing a place to vent – seek a secluded spot and give a silent scream!
Thank the organiser – Much effort was put into arranging the event, the employer has put together a celebration for recognising employee’s contribution and spread the holiday cheer. Recognise this effort and say thank you.
Follow these suggestions and you will survive your company Christmas party with reputation and business intact.
Wishing all our contributors, donors, supporters and apprentices a very happy safe festive season and a prosperous 2019!