Don’t let Ho Ho Ho turn into Ho Ho Oh No
As we wind down (or rev up) to the end of the year, many companies host functions to celebrate the year's achievements and to thank staff. These events often involve alcohol and it is useful to have guidelines in place to ensure the celebrations are not spoilt.
There if the misconception that should the event be held off site any incidents or poor behaviour is not your responsibility. But remember you have a duty to protect your employee's safety and your reputation and so this obligation applies even if the event is held off site. You, need to be able to show that you have made reasonable attempts to manage employees' conduct around alcohol consumption. Individuals who drink too much during a company event can do things to jeopardise their health, safety, their careers and your reputation.
Communicate with you teams. If you have an Alcohol Policy in place remind all staff of this policy, let them know whether the rules will be relaxed for this event and if so what the expectations are.
You may also want to consider some practical steps. Will you be arranging transport? Instruct the bar to stop serving alcoholic drinks to employees who are becoming intoxicated or unruly. Ensure that managers clearly understand what is considered acceptable and that they know to step in should any situation get out of control.
Another aspect of year end functions is time off work. If you are holding a day time function are employees expected to return to their place of work afterwards, if it is in the evening are they able to leave work earlier than normal? All of these matters are worth clarifying to avoid any abuse or misunderstanding. Explain that the absence rules still apply so if there is absence the following day, the usual reporting procedure is required, it will need to be explained by certification or may be treated as unauthorised.
Most important of all enjoy celebrating your achievements of 2014.