5 Tips to Achieve Holiday "Company Party Classy"
As the holiday season comes upon us, perhaps you may find yourself longing for the days of company holiday party chaos with no-holds-barred boozing, inappropriate use of the Xerox machine, and dancing on the conference room tables...but I’m here to tell you that the times, well, they are achangin’. Every year, employers across the country find themselves in trouble after a good intentioned holiday party goes off the rails. And let me tell you, this is no way to start the New Year. To avoid the serious and solemn legal issues that could come from what was once a lighthearted event; we've compiled a list of simple tips to help your company make it through unscathed. 5 Tips to Achieve Holiday "Company Party Classy"
1. Drink tickets: This is a great way to say to your employees “It’s okay to let your hair down and have a few drinks”, emphasis on a few. Providing them access to an open bar can spell disaster and more than one employee has found themselves disciplined or terminated over holiday overindulgence. Give your employees two drink tickets and you’ll find they are encouraged not to be over served on the eggnog.
2. Have Your Policies in Place: This is something we encourage you to do consistently throughout the year, but making sure your harassment and sexual harassment policies are up to date and have been signed off on by each employee is absolutely imperative. If something happens at a company party, you want to be sure your employees know the proper channels for reporting the incident so you can follow-up appropriately.
3. Managers & Supervisors: Year after year there are reports of management getting a little too comfortable with their staff at the holiday party. They should know better and it is your responsibility, as the business owner, to make sure they do. Always train your managers and supervisors to understand their role as your company’s representatives. Be sure that they know what is appropriate and what is most definitely not (hint: involves anything to do with mistletoe, after parties, referring to any employee as “Santa’s little helper”…you get the drift).
4. Know the Limits: Speaking of after parties, a good rule of thumb is to know where to draw the limit. A good company holiday party can be whatever you want it to be – sledding, bowling, a formal sit down dinner, a cocktail party with appetizers – whatever your company does to commemorate the holidays be sure that you lay the ground rules. Tell your employees what time the party begins and ends, let them know if they are able to bring guests or come solo, if there is drinking involved make sure they don’t feel they have to drink (this goes back to making sure your managers and supervisors are properly trained). If an employee feels that they must drink to fit in with company culture, you may have a problem on your hands.
5. Have Fun! Don’t get so entrenched in protecting yourself and your company that you forget what it is all really about. Celebrate your successes, let off a little steam, and get into the spirit of the holiday season.
Here at Clark-Mortenson we look forward to our Holiday party every year and each year we return to work on Monday with not an ounce of regret or fear for our jobs. Why, you may be asking? Because the groundwork has been laid and everyone knows the rules and what is expected of them. If you have any questions about pulling together a safe, fun and lawsuit-free holiday party feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 877-352-2121 – Happy Holidays!