The work’s Christmas party is a great opportunity to celebrate a year of success and gather colleagues together in a more relaxed environment.
To ensure everyone has a great time a huge amount of organisation needs to go on behind the scenes, before you even think about venues! Even fairly small teams can consist of a wide variety of cultures and religions and so, for starters, you need to make sure you take an inclusive view – and then there are all kinds of extra considerations to make.
Here are our top ten tips for hosting a Christmas party that will enable you to brilliantly tread the line between Santa and Scrooge:
1. Make sure that everyone feels included, especially if they don’t share the religious values associated with Christmas – this means checking that the day of the week you choose isn’t sacred for other religions that could mean certain staff members can’t join in.
2. Declare a ‘no pressure’ policy, so nobody feels obliged to attend if they don’t feel comfortable, but don’t forget to invite those on family related leave.
3. Make sure catering covers vegetarians, vegans, those that abstain from alcohol and any special dietary needs – and that everything’s clearly labelled.
4. Relax the rules – while it’s an extension of the workplace in some regards, you still want people to have fun – but remind them that normal rules of behaviour apply.
5. Provide written guidance on personal conduct. Remind staff about your discrimination policies – any inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with in the same way as if it occurred during normal working circumstances.
6. Don’t lay on a free bar – it makes any rules under points four and five more difficult to uphold. However, it is Christmas, so you want to get into the spirit a little – offer to buy the first round of drinks or provide a bottle of wine for each table.
7. Try to assign a designated non-drinker from management to keep a subtle eye on staff without spoiling any legitimate fun.
8. Remind staff not to drink and drive and consider organising a mini bus to pick up and take people home. Have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available too!
9. If you employ under 18 year olds you need to consider the venue if you hold it off work premises to ensure that they allow under 18s on the premises.
10. If the party falls on a work night, clearly state your expectations for attendance in the morning – even if that means letting everyone come in an hour later or providing a free breakfast!
Wishing you a very happy Christmas and a sparkling new year!