The office Christmas party is the highlight of the year for many employees but often a headache for employers, and not because of the hangover. Croner Consulting offers 10 tips to keep your party stress — and incident — free.

1. Don’t exclude anyone

December is host to a number of holy days for different religions. Keep this in mind when setting a date for your party.

2. Don’t force people to attend

Too much pressure to join in will have the opposite effect. Keep it fun and people will come.

3. Provide suitable catering

Ensure the catering is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, those who don’t drink alcohol, and individuals who have special dietary requirements.

4. Relax that rule book

Yes, it’s a work-related party but it’s a chance for everyone to have fun and celebrate your business’s successes.

5. Provide written guidance

Before the party, issue written guidance on personal conduct, such as no aggressive or bullying behaviour and no harassment. Warn employees that breaking these rules may result in disciplinary procedures.

6. Keep tabs on staff drinks

Issuing free drink tickets is a great way to keep tabs on how much employees are drinking.

7. But also buy a round in

It’s Christmas after all and a good way to say thank you to your employees.

8. Assign a designated watcher

Assign a (volunteer) member of the management team who has a clear head to keep a subtle eye on things without being a party pooper.

9. Manage expectations

If it’s during the working week make it clear that you expect everyone to be in work the next day. But maybe let them come in a little later or provide a free breakfast.

10. Don’t drink and drive

Make sure employees do not need to drink and drive at all to get home. Perhaps organise a minibus to help people get home.

Expert support

Croner Consulting are on hand to provide a wide range of expert health and safety and HR advice during the festive season. Call your helpline on 0844 561 8149.

Last reviewed 4 December 2019