An employer to an employer: The DOs and DON’Ts of the Christmas party

For most employers, the Christmas party is a chance to say thank you to everyone for their hard work over the year, and chance to celebrate the business’ success outside of the normal working environment.

However, some employers don’t think about the consequences of organising a Christmas party properly and forget that the end-of-year company night/day out could perhaps tarnish their reputation as an employer, if it gets a little too rowdy.

employer Christmas Party

Here some employers share their best pieces of advice to ensure that everyone enjoys the Christmas party this year and that you go back to the office, still with a great reputation:

1. DO provide alternatives to alcohol

It is important to remember that not everyone in the office drinks alcohol, and some people would prefer an alcohol-alternative. It is up to you to provide this as the employer and organiser of the Christmas party. Whether you swap some prosecco for orange juice at the beginning of the night or provide alcohol-free beers rather than normal.

Gareth Morgan, MD of Liberty Marketing has said, “A big mistake that I’ve seen a number of employers make is assuming that everyone drinks alcohol. Even if you’ve seen someone drink at a company event before, double check whether they will be drinking this Christmas as their circumstances may have changed.

“Whether they have given up the booze for religious, dietary, health or even social reasons, you don’t want to risk insulting them or tempting them back to something they are actively trying to avoid.”

2. DON’T over post on social media

Sure, it is great to show that your staff get along and that you are participating in fun activities out of the office, but don’t let the social-sharing get out of hand, especially after a few drinks.

Tip: Nobody wants to see 3 members of staff eating McDonalds at 3am, it doesn’t exactly give off the most professional message.

It would be a good idea to change the password before the night out, so that those that are logged in, instantly get logged out. If you feel as though you trust your staff members and don’t want to take it that far, just send a friendly email reminder about social sharing.

3. DO check what your employees can or can’t eat

It would be seriously unfortunate for staff to arrive at the chosen restaurant, only to find they are unable to eat anything due to dietary requirements, allergies or religious reasons.

This can easily be solved if the employer bothers to check everyone’s dietary requirements well before the event, so that they’re able to let the restaurant know in advance. This way, everyone gets to enjoy the party.

“I always ensure that dietary requirements are given to me well before organising the event, or letting the restaurant know. It would be a shame for a member of staff to miss out on something just because an employer didn’t make the effort to check what they can or can’t eat” says Ben Lloyd, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Pure Commercial Finance.

4. DO advise staff to watch their alcohol consumption

The Christmas party is chance for staff to have a few drinks with their colleagues and work friends, however, some may have a few more than average and it may spoil the night.

As the employer, it is important to advise your staff that they shouldn’t drink too much at the Christmas party as it will not only look bad on them as an employee, but it could reflect badly on your company.

5. DON’T force attendance

You shouldn’t pressure your employees to attend the Christmas party. While the offer should be open to anyone in the office, nobody should be forced to come as they may have their own personal reasons for not attending. Don’t be a pressuring boss, let your staff make their own choices.

Employment law solicitor at Howells Solicitors, Nayo Kirkpatrick,  says: “There may be many reasons as to why an employee cannot attend the party, such as religious reasons or childcare responsibilities. It is up to the employer to invite their staff, but in no way should they put pressure on their attendance.”