Employees love an end of year Christmas Party and it’s a great way to show your team you value their contribution. However, things can go wrong. Here is our guide to having a fun staff Christmas party without breaking your budget or any HR rules.

Tip 1:  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s cheaper to hold your staff Christmas party on-site

There is nothing like the lure of free alcohol to encourage heavier than usual drinking. Unfortunately, alcohol consumption can generate poor behaviour. As an employer, you are responsible for the safety of your staff and that includes behaviours like bullying, discrimination and harassment. 

Don’t start the new year defending a complaint to the Fair Work Commission. Instead, go to a venue with staff that are trained in the responsible service of alcohol. In the long term, it could save you a packet!

Tip 2:  Assuming you follow Tip 1, start looking for venues now

If you are budget conscious, you will find all the moderately priced venues are snapped up early. If you need to keep costs down, consider having a lunchtime Christmas party and then give staff the rest of the afternoon off. You will be a hero because everyone has tons of stuff to do around Christmas. Plus, lunchtime events are usually cheaper than evening and weekend ones.

Tip 3:  When it comes to Christmas parties, timing is everything!

Most staff Christmas parties include alcohol so if your celebration will be longer than 2 hours, you need to serve a full meal. 

In HR terms, Christmas parties lasting 2-4 hours are considered a moderate risk and give your staff plenty of time to have fun. In accounting terms, Christmas parties lasting 2-4 hours are generally budget appropriate for most businesses.

Tip 4:  Outline expectations in advance of the event and lead by example

A week or two before your staff Christmas party, ensure your staff understand the event is an extension of the workplace and that means:

  • Everyone (including you and your management team if you have one) need to drink responsibly
  • Everyone must abide by drink driving laws and you should consider providing taxi vouchers for staff who are likely to be over the legal limit
  • Sexual harassment, verbal or physical abuse, bullying and discrimination are NEVER acceptable and NEVER a joke!

Here for fun with a budget appropriate twist

Positive staff morale helps businesses prosper and there’s nothing like a fun Christmas party to show your staff you appreciate their efforts. But it should never jeopardise the safety of your employees or the financial health of your business. 

We hope these staff Christmas party tips are helpful. At WM Wright & Co, we want to help you improve your bottom line, not just tell you what it is! Visit our website to learn about the many ways we can help your business.