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Work Christmas Party Conduct

December | Outsourced HR Team | Article

Do you know what is appropriate? Now’s the time to get clear on work Christmas party etiquette.

With the festive season just around the corner, anticipation and excitement surrounding your workplace’s end of year celebrations is building. After a tumultuous year, these celebrations are an opportunity for employees to unwind, re-establish team morale and celebrate the year’s work. However, the activities and behaviours often involved with such celebrations can create a wave of issues that have the potential to cause long-lasting harm to your company. WCA Solutions has identified potential challenges employers should be aware of before the festivities commence.

Social Media

Ensure appropriate use of social media at your work Christmas party

While social media is a good mechanism for capturing memorable moments, it also means any negative portrayals of your company will be shared with the public and carry negative consequences for your company’s reputation. Internally, any inappropriate or offensive social media posts may be seen as bullying or harassment and create internal conflict amongst employees. This can deteriorate relationships to the detriment of your company’s productivity. It is recommended companies conduct a review of their social media policy and procedure and communicate expectations to all employees before the event.

Code of Conduct

Remind employees of what is appropriate conduct at work functions

Once festivities commence, employees should be reminded their conduct must be appropriate and reflect the company’s Code of Conduct at work functions. For instance, a gift or comment may be well-intended however the recipient may not feel the same. It is recommended you communicate any gifts should be workplace appropriate and comments should remain professional and respectful. To enable such, companies should review their professional conduct policies and procedures and communicate them to all employees before the event. This ensures employees will, at least, have an awareness of the actions that may be taken against them if they are found to be in breach of their contractual obligations.

Alcohol

Maintain a duty of care during work Christmas parties

No matter how you decide to celebrate, as an employer your duty of care towards your employees remains. If you intend on serving alcohol, it is recommended you take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of your employees by holding the event at a safe venue, providing taxi vouchers for safe travel to and from the venue, emphasising ‘the excessive consumption of alcohol is prohibited at all times’ and reminding employees about appropriate work function conduct. During the event, you have the right to require the venue to refuse service of alcohol to any employee. You may also choose to nominate sober contact persons to supervise employees and manage any issues that arise. By taking these key actions, you are working towards fulfilling your duty of care obligations and allowing employees to safely enjoy themselves.

If you require any assistance reviewing your policies and procedures or clarifying your obligations as an employer, please do not hesitate to contact WCA Solutions.