The office Christmas party! Some people look forward to it and others dread it. We all have a story about behaviour at an office party that has got out of hand. Employers have a difficult line to toe between encouraging end-of-year celebrations, team bonding and fun but stopping this tipping over into inappropriate behaviour that ends up with HR stepping in.

Any social experience at work is an opportunity for team bonding and letting your employees know they are appreciated if managed well.  As employers we encourage you to consider:

  • While everybody should be invited to your festive celebrations, don’t make them compulsory.
  • Set a budget. You can be creative and stick to it with some careful planning.
  • Find an appropriate venue. If you’re thinking of doing something in the office, consider whether this is an appropriate setting. If outside the office, how convenient is it for everyone?
  • Be clear about the rules, for example around drinking alcohol and all forms of inappropriate behaviour.

Be mindful of all employees

Try to host a Christmas party that is inclusive. Less outgoing and older members of the organisation might not want to take part in dinner and dancing till the early hours so perhaps a lunchtime meal is more appropriate.

Rather than calling it a ‘Christmas’ party which might exclude non-Christian faiths, consider setting it up as an ‘End of Year’ celebration, which could honour what your team have achieved.

The cost-of-living crisis is also having a huge impact across all sectors of society with employers affected too. To ensure no one feels excluded from taking part in your festive celebrations on the grounds of cost, determine how much you can put into the party as an employer and keep to the budget. Discourage any excess spending required by employees such as ‘Secret Santa’ no matter how small a personal contribution some will think that is.

By the time people get to the end of a working year, they want to take time out in whatever way is good for them. Your team members may well be exhausted for one reason or another – this year has been tough for so many, including organisations. We also know that loneliness is at a crisis point in the UK.  Be alert about mental health and how your employees are coping with the demands of the festive season. Post-Christmas blues is very real for many, as sadly, are post-Christmas debts.

Our experienced HR team at HR Revolution help employers put in place policies and procedures that support you in your people management throughout the year, including Christmas! We hope your Christmas is a happy one and provides a refreshing break to take you into 2023 ready to grow and succeed. If you have any questions on the above or need any advice please get in touch, email us at: