The Office Party Planning Guide

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Follow These Office Party Planning Tips for a Fun and Safe Celebration This Holiday Season

December is almost here! The weather is getting cooler outside and the holiday shopping has begun. Of course, there’s another event that is on every employee’s mind: the office Christmas party. You and your employees have worked hard this year, and there’s no better way to celebrate your company’s success than planning the perfect office party.

Although you want the party to be a smashing success, there’s a bit more to consider when it comes to planning your office party. For example, will your party be in compliance with HR standards? And have you considered ways to avoid any inappropriate behavior or actions that would be considered an HR violation?

With several years of experience in HR assistance and management, we know how important it is to minimize risks both in the office and at any office-related event. To throw a successful holiday party that will be both fun and safe for everyone, follow these tips to help you with your office party planning efforts.

 

Create a List of Everyone’s Dietary Restrictions

Whether your office party is going to be a potluck, catered, or at a restaurant, taking note of your employees’ and their guests’ dietary restrictions and food allergies will help ensure that everyone will have something to eat. For example, if you have an employee who is severely allergic to shellfish, catering a fancy lobster dinner may not be the best idea.

Ensuring that everyone has food options that are safe for them to eat will make them feel more welcome as well as minimize any risk of someone having an allergic reaction.

 

Minimize the Risk of Excess Alcohol Consumption

You trust your employees to be responsible and make smart choices. After all, that’s why you hired them in the first place. However, things can easily get out of hand if there isn’t a limit set on alcohol consumption. To ensure that everyone at the party is safe and appropriate, there are ways to add limitations without micromanaging your colleagues the entire night.

  1. Avoid an open bar if you can.
  2. Plan your office party at a third-party venue where there is a licensed bartender managing the alcohol being served.
  3. Set a time when access to alcohol will be cut-off for the night.

 

Do Not Make the Party Mandatory

You’ve been working hard planning the party to be both enjoyable and within the good graces of HR standards, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should be forced to go. This is especially true if your holiday office party is Christmas-themed and there are employees with different religious preferences.

Forcing people to attend a party with religious tones is not only an HR violation but no one wants to be forced to have fun. If employees are told that they are required to attend a party, it wouldn’t really feel much like a celebration as it is more of a work assignment.

 

Remind Your Employees That HR Standards Still Apply

The earlier you discuss the details of the party, the better everyone can prepare and come to you if they have additional questions. However, before you assign everyone a dish to bring or draw names for the gift exchange, be sure everyone is reminded of the HR standards that must be followed at work-related events. This includes what would be appropriate and inappropriate behavior or conversation topics.

These reminders will ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands what kind of behavior is expected of them. Additionally, no one will be able to say later on that they didn’t know that they still had to act professionally in a non-business environment. 

Have a fun and safe holiday office party and contact ESS for any HR management or assistance that your company may need to stay in compliance!

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