Practical tips for the Christmas Party Season
December is fast approaching and with it comes the much loved tradition of the office Christmas party. The work’s Christmas do is a great way to say ‘Thank You’ to the workforce and to boost morale but it is worth remembering that regardless of whether the party takes place on or off site, it is still within the realm of the workplace. Employers have a responsibility to protect the health, wellbeing and safety of their staff, within reasonable limits and this extends to work related events. It is therefore important that your employees know and understand what acceptable behaviour is.
Practical tips to reduce the risks
Social media – do you have a social media policy? Whilst it’s difficult to control what people post on social media, you can advise on what your expectations are. This will help avoid liability and can be useful for any disciplinary discussions which need to be had with anyone who posts inappropriate content during or after the work’s Christmas party.
Drug and alcohol – is your D&A policy up to date? It’s worth emailing your employees to remind them of your policy and clarify expectations at events.
Appropriate behaviour – most people know that inappropriate behaviour is not acceptable within the workplace and this includes at events too. As an organisation you need to ensure the content of your work event is also appropriate for your staff. If you are hosting a comedy event for example, make sure the material being used by the comedian is appropriate and will not constitute sexual or racial harassment. Prepare in advance for how you will manage a situation if someone behaves inappropriately at a work’s event.
Staying safe – remind your employees about the dangers of drinking and driving. Maybe set up an arrangement with a local cab company for reduced fares. Otherwise remind employees to make arrangements to get home safely.
Practical ways that occupational health (OH) can assist:
Sickness absence – make sure your employees know that sickness in the party season is being monitored, especially if you have work the day after your party. You can refer employees to OH for advice on frequent short term absence as well as longer more complex cases. In both instances OH can provide lifestyle guidance to the employee and management advice to the employer.
Drug and Alcohol Policy – Lincoln Occupational Health can assist you in reviewing your D&A policy and advising on testing. We can also run workshops which inform your employees on the content of your D&A policy, explaining the effect of alcohol, how much is too much and teaching them how to be responsible around alcohol.
Training sessions – running a training session is a great way of addressing many of the behavioural issues created by the party season. We can provide bespoke training with content adapted to suit your workforce. Topics covered could be:
- Indulging without being excessive
- Tips on maintaining good health and wellbeing
- Learning how to say ‘No’
- Managing the pace
- Creating a healthy work/life balance.
Health awareness sessions – running health awareness sessions (mini MOTS) is a helpful way of assisting with general health concerns that follow the party season. We can provide tailor made sessions looking at, for instance:
- Blood pressure
- Height and weight/BMI/Body fat percentage
- Glucose/blood sugar (diabetes)
For more information on how we can help you navigate through the party season and ensuring you are protecting the health, wellbeing and safety of your employees, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or
0844 481 0093 where our team will be happy to help.