Christmas parties are a great way for the workplace to come together as a team and celebrate the end of the year and its achievements. With the end of the work year and its associated events fast approaching, employers should be mindful of the simple tips they can take to ensure the celebrations are both fun and safe for all their workers. Just because your Christmas function might be outside the office, doesn't mean you aren't in the workplace.
Employers should consider the following simple tips prior to any planned Christmas function:
Remind all workers that it is a work function and therefore all company policies still apply (e.g. WHS and Bullying Policies).
Review the company harassment, bullying and alcohol policies and ensure all workers are aware and trained in the content (i.e. email copies or memos of the policies to ensure all workers understand the content and the expected standard of behaviour).
Remind all workers of appropriate workplace behaviour and the consequences for not following workplace policies and procedures.
If a themed event is planned, ensure that a dress code is set.
Check the party venue for possible hazards.
Appoint a Manager to supervise the function and alcohol consumption.
Ensure the event has a clear start and finish time.
Organise activities that shift the focus from just drinking.
Ensure access to alcohol is served via trained wait staff.
Serve plenty of substantial food and non alcoholic drinks that cater to everyone’s needs (i.e. dietary requirements).
Ensure workers have safe transportation home; either through taxis, bus, train or other means, and remind workers not to drive if they plan on drinking.
Deal with any complaints promptly and in line with company policies (i.e. organise transport to take a highly intoxicated worker home, then follow up on the incident the following day).
Always remember to plan and monitor your event properly.
By properly planning and educating workers; as well as taking some steps for safety, you can ensure all members of the company enjoy the Christmas festivities in a safe and enjoyable environment.
For further tips and advice for organising workplace christmas parties, please refer to the following article from OHS Alert