Can there be too much Christmas cheer at work?

The tinsel has been up in the shops for weeks and it’s beginning to feel a lot like we’re on the home stretch for 2015 as we edge closer towards Christmas. Meanwhile, company social coordinators around the country are in full flight as planning for staff Christmas parties ramps up.

It’s a wonderful time of year to recognise the contributions of our teams and to let our hair down. And obviously no CEO wants to feel like Ebenezer Scrooge at such a festive time, but there are some fairly serious foundations to lay the right way to ensure staff not only have a great time, but a safe time too.

So where does the responsibility start and finish with the workplace and how do you create a company Christmas event with the right amount of festive cheer?

At PaySmart, we work hard, but when the time comes, we also like to enjoy ourselves—it’s one of our company values. But we do still expect staff to behave responsibly and respectfully.

It’s a fine line, but one that as CEO, is essential to walk to ensure the safety and integrity of the staff and the business.

So before our festivities get underway, there’ll be a number of things I’ll be checking are in place, including:

  • Ensuring alcohol will be served responsibly and that an appropriate quantity of food is planned
  • Making sure transport arrangements are in place after the party concludes
  • Designating an official finish time for the company party
  • Circulating company policies in advance to remind staff about code of conduct, health and safety, and appropriate use of social media etc.
  • Reminding everyone that secret Santa should be lots of fun…but always tasteful.

There are a number of resources online that provide some good information on this topic—not surprisingly, your friendly HR professional or law firm are great places to start!

I’d love to know if you’ve used successful strategies to manage your workplace Christmas functions—feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Ian Jones
CEO, PaySmart