Some businesses this year have decided to opt out of having a holiday party for employees because they are leery about potential misconduct shining the worst kind of spotlight on them.
However, holiday parties are a good way for employees to bond with each other and get to know each other better outside of the confines of their jobs. Plus, they are a great way for employers to show appreciation for all the hard work employees do throughout the year. So, employers shouldn’t avoid having them, but they should take some precautions to make sure they go smoothly and without incident, like these four things:
1. Eschew the Bar
The majority of problems that occur during staff parties (or any other type of party for that matter) can be traced back to alcohol. So, you should try to limit the amount of alcohol involved in your party or eschew it altogether by opting for a fun outing where you do an activity instead.
When planning your party, rule out holding it in a bar. Opt for a restaurant instead or you could do an activity like go-kart racing or something else that doesn’t involve alcohol. This way it becomes a more family friendly affair, which may be appreciated by your employees.
If you opt to hold it at your place of work, definitely avoid having an open bar. This is the proverbial recipe for disaster. It’s also a good idea to encourage employees not to overindulge. And if you’re going to be having alcohol, make sure you encourage people to be safe and not drink and drive.
2. Wrap it Up Early
It’s no secret that many employees only go to their company staff parties grudgingly. So, wrapping things up early is actually beneficial to most employees. Those who didn’t want to be there in the first place get to escape quickly and anyone else who wants to keep the party going can do so of their own volition, meaning you as a business won’t be responsible for whatever happens after the employee party officially ends.
Having a simple dinner or doing an activity with a definitive end point will give you the opportunity to have a good time and let people go relatively early, which means less chance of employees getting inebriated at an official business event.
3. Keep Your Gift Exchange Reasonable and Tasteful
Employees have their own social circle and family to buy gifts for, so the last thing they need is pressure to buy an expensive gift for a workmate that they might not even like. Keep your secret Santa/gift exchange dollar limit low. Nobody expects anything besides a candle or some lotto scratch tickets. You shouldn’t inadvertently pressure people to spend a lot by having a high dollar limit on your gift exchange.
Most people will keep their gifts tasteful, but if you have employees with a particularly raunchy sense of humour, you may want to remind them to keep gifts family friendly. Raunchy gifts might have been funny in the past, but in today’s climate, you never know how someone is going to react. Better to stick with the scented candles and scratch tickets.
4. Consider a Day Time Party
One way that you could have your time limit, wrap it up early and eschew alcohol and the potential problems that come with it is to have your party during your lunch hour. This doesn’t work in all types of franchise businesses, mind you. If you are a restaurant, for example, you might be at your busiest during lunch hour. Not all of your staff might work at the same time, which means some of them might have to come in on a day off.
If you have a nine to five business in an office, though, you might consider just hosting a small holiday party in your lunch room. Bring in some catering, gather everyone together and show your appreciation to them during the day.
To keep your office holiday party free from any behaviour that might bring disrepute on your franchise location, your franchisor or any individual employee, try keeping alcohol consumption in check and creating a welcoming environment for everyone. To have a staff party for your franchise, you have to find a franchise to join first. Sign up for a free FranNet franchise search and consultation today and let us help you on your way to Canadian business ownership.