But what happens when a Christmas or New Year staff party ends on a bad note for some? And what about employees’ conduct at social gatherings not related to work?
During party season it’s crucial that all businesses, large or small, have procedures in place for when the unfortunate happens – here are the do’s and don’ts.
- DO Make Employees Aware of the Rules
From bullying and harassment policies, to procedures relating to dignity at work, an employer can help prevent mishaps by making staff aware of the expectations.
There is no need to be Scrooge about it. Sending an email explaining all expectations and offering staff the chance to query anything will provide employees with the necessary information, giving you peace of mind to enjoy your own party season.
- DO Set an Example
Employees on a work night out are your responsibility. Ahead of work parties, plan to have one or more senior staff members monitoring the party for any possible trouble and acting to prevent it from brewing over.
Employers can also set a good example by ensuring all employees have an adequate way home after the party. By sending an email beforehand reminding employees to arrange travel, as well as to mind their behaviour, you can cover all bases.
- DO Provide Staff with a Social Media Policy
A social media policy will also demonstrate that as an employer, bullying, harassment or poor behaviour online will not be tolerated, demonstrating the consequences of this to staff.
- DO NOT Discipline on the Spot
This will ensure all legal procedures are followed correctly while all parties are in the right state of mind and will prevent situations becoming more heated during the night out.
- DO Ensure Staff are Aware Work Party Expectations Extend to their own Social Lives
But employees are still representatives of your business. To prevent reputational damage during non-work engagements, it is vital that you communicate your expectations.
By making employees aware that work social rules exist outside of work-related events, staff members will be clear of their responsibility as a business representative.
- DO Extend Your Social Media Policy
Extending a social media policy and making staff aware of your expectations will bring clarity to what is and is not acceptable to post on social media after nights out.
Employees are of course entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, so long as these do not infringe on another’s entitlements. Social media policy extension will prevent reputational damage as well as bullying or harassment online.
- DO NOT Infringe on Employee Social Lives
An employer should seek to make employees understand their expectations, while avoiding infringement on the personal lives of staff, keeping a distance between the employee and the individual.