How to Plan a Cracking Christmas Party

December 6, 2017

The office Christmas party is the perfect great way of saying thanks to employees for everything they’ve done over the year. It’s a time for them to celebrate both their personal and the company achievements and just generally end the year on a high! However, all too often it can become a melting pot of built up tensions and booze filled shenanigans. Isobel shares her tips to ensure your Christmas party is one to remember.

By Isobel Hallam

At HR180 we have all too often seen (and dealt with) the hangover from these events. However, sometimes the headache can last for months afterwards and even end in tribunal, costing more time and money than originally planned! So here are some top tips to ensure this year you can look back at your party with a warm Christmassy smile.

  1. A celebration to enjoy: Make sure employees know that the party is a celebration! Remind them of the successes over the last year to get them in the right spirit, but all talk of work should be left at their desk.


  1. Give employees the choice: Do your employees actually want the traditional work Christmas party? For many, sitting round a cramped table eating a dry turkey breast, trying to make small talk with Fred in Accounts is not their idea of fun. Can you give employees the choice and offer them a few options? Ask employees what they want to do and then select the top three for everyone to vote for. You are never going to please everyone but at least they get the chance to have their say.


  1. Food options: It’s important that everyone’s dietary requirements are catered for. Ask employees beforehand what they are and aren’t able to eat to make sure everyone can enjoy their meal with no nasty surprises on the day. Plus, if you’ve asked employees to pre-order their meals, make sure you take a list of their choices, so everyone gets the correct meal.


  1. Employee Safety: If you’re hosting the party in your building, make sure the space is suitable for the festivities and that the risk of accidents is reduced – you don’t want sherry to be spilt over the new computer or chocolate yule log smudged over a pile of important paperwork! If it’s taking place at another venue, make sure that everyone knows where they are going and how they’re getting there and back. It’s still your responsibility to make sure your employees are safe.


  1. Alcohol options: Often it’s when the alcohol starts flowing, that the issues start to bubble. You might be seen as a scrooge by some but think about whether you should set a limit on the amount of alcohol that is on offer. Make sure that if alcohol is available, then food is too, and perhaps get a couple of managers to monitor how much is being drank so that action can be taken before things get too messy. Alternatively, you could think of Christmas celebration options that don’t involve alcohol – start a new tradition!


  1. Communicate expectations: Some employees think because they are not in the office or doing their work, that the usual expectations for behaviour no longer apply – they’re wrong! You need to remind them that the usual company policies apply. It’s not to stop them having fun, it’s so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the celebrations, and to ensure you don’t end up with a harassment claim on your desk the following day!


If all else fails, make sure any issues are dealt with quickly and fairly after the event, and give us a call on: 01132878150 if you need a hand!

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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