6 tips to planning a stress-free work’s Christmas party

Here’s how to make sure the consequences of your Christmas party don’t cause you an even bigger headache the next day.

BrightHR Team

You’re dreading your work’s Christmas do, aren’t you? You can already hear the staff grumbles that the location isn’t as nice as last year, or there’s not enough free booze on offer. But don’t let the inevitable moans put you off.

Your work’s Christmas party is a great way to celebrate your team’s success and boost morale before the New Year. So take note of our six simple tips to make sure your night (and the morning after) goes off without a hitch.

  1. Be relaxed about attendance

Your staff won’t want to feel as though you’re forcing them to have fun. So don’t put too much pressure on them to attend. Simply let them know that everyone’s welcome and the party is to celebrate their success—the number of people that turn up might surprise you.

  1. Invite everyone

Extend the invitation to all your staff. That means any staff on maternity and paternity leave, or on long-term sick leave. They might not come, but they’ll be happy to know that you thought of them.

  1. Choose the food carefully

Putting on a good spread that caters for all your staff is important. So ask your team beforehand if they have any special dietary requirements and make note of who’s veggie or vegan—this will hopefully avoid any complaints at the buffet table.

  1. Limit the free booze

There’s nothing wrong with treating your staff to a few drinks—it’s a celebration, after all. But don’t make the mistake of paying for a free bar.

The more your staff drink, the more likely they are to be involved in a fight or altercation with each other. And as you’ve supplied the alcohol, an employment tribunal could hold you responsible for their behaviour.

It’s also important to remember that not everyone drinks. So make sure there’s lots of alcohol-free alternatives on offer, and lots of water to help people sober up.

  1. Warn staff about bad behaviour

Make it clear to your people beforehand that you won’t tolerate any inappropriate behaviour such as excessive drunkenness, use of illegal drugs, harassment, discrimination, or violence.

Most of them won’t even need to hear this warning. But sending a quick email, could be the difference between a stressful and an enjoyable night.

  1. Plan the morning after

If the party lands on a ‘school night’, make sure your staff know the plan for the next morning. You might expect them in as normal or let them wander in an hour later.

Or if you’re feeling really generous, you could offer staff a free breakfast—the thought of greasy food alone will be enough to get them through the door.

Not sure whether to write a party policy? Or how to handle a staff brawl at the Christmas do?

Get expert employment law help from BrightAdvice.