CIF Blog: Company Parties

Anthony Brady, Industrial Relations and Employment Services Executive with the CIF, discusses the preventive steps recommended for organisations when organising a company party.

As the evenings continue to draw shorter, we are reminded of the upcoming festive period. It is at this time of year that companies may decide to hold a Christmas/End of Year Party. Such events can often boost morale and team unity; however they do not come without their possible pitfalls. Therefore, as is the case with any project/event, preparation is key!

Outlined below are some useful pointers to consider in advance of a company party:

Advise Management: The staff party is an opportunity for management to show recognition for the work well done by its staff. This may increase motivation amongst the workforce and may help improve the quality of work going forward. With this in mind, it is important to brief Management in advance not to discuss issues relating to pay, performance, career prospects or HR issues.

Remind Employees of Company Policies: Once the arrangements for the Company Party have been organised, take the opportunity (perhaps in your email communication about the event) to remind staff that this is a company event and to be mindful that all company policies and procedures apply especially in relation to conduct on the night. The Company’s Dignity at Work Policy in particular could be circulated in advance to remind employees of the importance of dignity and respect to others.

Alcohol: Staff should be advised to drink sensibly at Company Parties.

Social Media: You may also consider reminding staff that if they are engaging in social media platforms that they should respect their colleagues and management’s privacy. It would also be advisable to inform all attendees that consent must be sought to post images of others on social media platforms.

Transport: It would be prudent to encourage employees to either pre-book taxis or to research late night public transport options in advance. You may wish to also remind employees that under no circumstances, is it okay to drink and drive.

Inclusion: Keep in mind that Christmas is a Christian celebration and is not observed by every religion. With this is mind, it is important that all employees are made feel welcome and are not discriminated against based on their religion. Instead of using the word ‘Christmas’, you may choose to label the party as something else, such as an ‘End of Year’ party. Should any employee not wish to attend for personal or religious reasons etc., this choice should be respected.

As a means of communicating all relevant information to employees, a summary email is recommended to set clear guidance in advance. To keep with the festive spirit, the tone of email should be light, however clear on the company’s position in relation to the above points.
The Company Party presents an ideal opportunity for employees to socialise and enjoy the Christmas season together. Creating personal connections outside of the work environment can help promote a positive atmosphere in the workplace.

For queries relating to the above, please contact a member of the Industrial Relations & Employment Services Department on 01 406 6000.

Anthony Brady, Industrial Relations and Employment Services, CIF

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