5 tips and tricks to help a successful end of year party whilst avoiding the office hangover, plus a note about Secret Santa.

  • Set the bar: Since cases of sexual harassment and the like occur at work events (and typically when alcohol is consumed), it’s a very good idea to remind employees of company polices that apply even when attending work sanctioned events for example; bullying & harassment, social media, code of conduct and drugs & alcohol policies. This will ensure your employee’s are up to speed with the expectations and consequences relating to them when attending such events.  An email that is appropriately worded without sounding like the ‘fun-police’ should get the message across.
  • Put it on the bar tab: Most parties get out of hand as a result of drinking too much booze and not enough responsible serving of alcohol. Having a bar tab and limiting the range of drinks could help whilst ensuring there is a variety of low strength alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks available to those who don’t drink.
  • Make it a feast: Avoid being the Christmas Grinch and make sure there is enough food to go around. Not enough food is a common complaint following a party. I remember going to a Christmas party once and not seeing any food, I asked my manager where the food was and I was told the food was being eaten by a growing crowd of hungry guests standing beside the kitchen door pouncing the waiters upon their exit. The poor waiters never made it further than 3 feet from the kitchen door! So give it thought and talk with the venue manager about how much food and how it will be shared with guests.
  • Keep yourself nice: It might be tempting to let your hair down and blow off steam but it’s important to drink in moderation and to remember that keeping a good reputation is paramount especially for the staff who you are responsible for, clients and the obvious one, yourself. I remember often strolling into the office after a Christmas party and I could almost hear a pin drop if it wasn’t for the coffee machine working overtime. Everyone was verrrry quite. A lot of people were nursing either a sore head or a bruised ego, or possibly even both.
  • A sleep-in would be nice: If staff are expected to work the following day and only if it’s feasible, it might be worth considering a one off late start time. This may reduce the number of hangover related absences. At worst there may be a few trips to the coffee shop for some strong lattes and cheese and tomato toasties- they’re the best! 

Ho, ho, ho, a short note about Secret Santa!

No matter how small an office can be there is usually always one thing that happens every year, and that is Secret Santa. I once received a complaint from an employee because their Secret Santa gift was a candy dispenser that looked like a pig where the candy exited from its ummm backside. What fun that was to investigate!

So my short note here on the Secret Santa front that might save you from another headache, is to brief staff at the commencement of the gifting game about the appropriateness of such gifts. Aiming for gifts that are unlikely to offend and advising gifts of a sexually inappropriate or suggestive nature or gifts that could be in breach of company polices with respect to bullying and harassment or code of conduct are a no-no.

Happy holidays!

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