On the seventh day of Christmas, my employee brought to me…Christmas party misconduct
If your CEO was an HR professional, they would probably cancel Christmas parties but as they are not, you will need to be prepared to deal with any issue arising. Thankfully, the majority of Christmas parties take place with very little drama. However, issues which can arise include office disagreements being replayed at the bar, inappropriate comments and general drunken misconduct bringing your business name into disrepute.
Whilst all of those attending the Christmas party are doing so during their own time, the party has been organised by the employer for their employees and therefore employers have some responsibility for situations that occur during the evening, especially if it is an issue between colleagues.
Remind employees of your expectations in terms of their conduct and how any issues will be treated. This could be dealt with as a note included with any correspondence you send about the party, by line manages a few days before, or by the CEO / Boss in a gentle reminder when opening the event.
If misconduct occurs, follow your disciplinary policy as normal and do the same if a grievance is raised. Do not ignore any comments stemming from the event but equally take gossip with a pinch of salt.
Remember, if your employees spend time socialising with clients, you are responsible for dealing with any inappropriate conduct or harassment either by your employees of by the third party.
Our Christmas countdown will continue on Monday, don’t forget to catch up on the last six days if you haven’t already!