Season’s Greetings from the very merry team at …
bO2 Corporate Essentials.
In a year filled with challenges, we’re grateful for your support.
Wishing you happiness & health in 2022.
Our last day of the year is Friday 17th December. We will return on Monday 10th January 2022.
THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, SHOULD YOU JUST CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF?
The office Christmas party has long been a feature of modern work, but is it time to put it to pasture?
While many will argue that a Christmas party is no longer valued. Employees are over it, and It’s far too expensive.
All too true…Christmas parties can be costly, and sometimes after the fact, we think is it money well-spent? Maybe the money used to fund the annual Christmas do should be channelled into a bonus payment or extra time off?
In the spirit of the festive period, there are some valid reasons why you should absolutely have a Christmas party…
People love them – Yes, studies show that some employees would prefer the money was spent elsewhere. But that’s not because end-of-year parties are inherently bad – it’s because some of them happen to be terrible. Employers are fearful (and employees reluctant) to make the event what it’s supposed to be – a fun way to wind down a year.
Is the fear founded? It’s hard to say. While there are times where Christmas party behaviour has ended up in a termination followed by an unfair dismissal ruling. There’s not enough evidence to say that bad behaviour is a common feature.
It comes down to this: you don’t need to monitor everybody; you need a culture that doesn’t tolerate bullying and harassment. If the organisation has excelled at responding to complaints all year round and has made the workplace a safe place, your Christmas party is just going to be fun.
There are other ways to mark the occasion besides dodgy hors d’oeuvres or canapés and ridiculous amounts of cocktails.
Of course, the organisation needs to be responsible with alcohol. And yes, letting people know that there are certain standards of behaviour is necessary. But that doesn’t mean policies should be announced like the organisation is a parent about to leave their teenagers home alone for the weekend. Everybody is an adult, and it’s possible to create a legally sound document that isn’t painfully stiff.
The thing is, if you’re in a workplace where commonplace moderation is the ultimate killjoy, you’ve probably got bigger problems than the Christmas party.
A different kind of engagement – Even if every employee in an organisation loves their job and is filled with a gratifying sense of purpose from opening to closing – work is still work. The nature of a modern job is such that there’s never much time for proper socialising.
There are few things better than the togetherness that comes from a relaxed environment at your Christmas party. You can openly discuss the year’s events. Ongoing misunderstandings get resolved, and new business ideas spontaneously spring from conversations that can be made a reality in the new year?
The best reward program – Celebrating together is far from unique to Australia; Australians uniquely treasure it.
The advantage of a Christmas party as a “reward” for employees is that it’s not connected to individual performance and naturally emphasises the notion that everybody – from low-level staff members to the executive – are in the same boat. Nobody on this planet will understand the stress of your day-to-day work better than the people at your Christmas party.
The trick to making it a reward for everyone is avoiding a Christmas party that pretends a workplace culture exists that you don’t have. So, if you’re an office that likes a party, don’t make your event a temperance or wowsers convention. If you’re a more conservative organisation, don’t go all hip and have a boozy costumed event.
The festive season is a chance for businesses to celebrate the year, bring some joy into the office, and blow off a bit of steam. While the office Christmas party can be the highlight of the year. There is the chance that some can have too much fun and end up with OHS or WHS issues, or those who find the holidays a difficult time can feel low spirited.
Because we want to help you have a fun and safe Christmas, we’ve highlighted some risks associated with the silly season – your responsibilities as an employer to make sure everyone has a party to remember for all the right reasons.
Tips for a party people talk about (in a good way!)
- Remind staff about the standards of behaviour expected at a company event.
- Training staff or representatives to be on the lookout for any inappropriate behaviour and diffuse the situation.
- Employer “policies, practices and procedures” will be under the microscope if action is taken against an employee for bad behaviour while under the influence.
- Review company policies that relate to sexual harassment, alcohol, and drugs to ensure nothing comes back to bite you should disciplinary action be required.
- Workplace functions, even if off-premises, become a ‘workplace’ for the purpose of Anti-discrimination and OHS or WHS legislation.
- other ways to mark the occasion.
“If everyone is clear on their responsibilities beforehand, the Christmas party will be more enjoyable for everyone.”