End-of-year work parties are an opportunity for employees to relax and have a good time with their co-workers. Unfortunately, end-of-year work parties are often the catalyst for an increase in complaints to HR and legal departments for inappropriate behaviour. Therefore, it’s timely to think about any precautionary measures that you can implement to ensure that inappropriate conduct does not occur.
The most important message for your employees is that their behaviour at the work party can still qualify as being in connection with their employment and that they are still bound by your company’s code of conduct and policies, irrespective of where or when the function takes place.
Complaints of sexual harassment are particularly common, but inappropriate use of social media and irresponsible consumption of alcohol can also be contributing sources. Your business can be liable for employees’ conduct at a work party, so what can you do to limit potential liability while still putting on a fun night for everyone?
Here are some tips to ensure that your end of-year-work function does not end on a sour note:
- Have policies around appropriate behaviour in the workplace
- Ensure all employees have re-read company policies and procedures before the event
- Stress the importance of respectful behaviour towards co-workers
- Serve alcohol responsibly and ensure there are alternatives available
- Ensure that any complaints are taken seriously, and investigated where appropriate
- Provide appropriate communications to employees of their responsibilities at a work party.
It is a good idea to provide some refresher compliance training to your employees prior to end-of-year functions. Learning Seat provides training on a variety of compliance topics to guide your employees on the type of behaviour expected from them at work parties.
Make your end of year work function safe, enjoyable and successful for all those involved. Try Learning Seat’s newest course called ‘Appropriate behaviour at work parties’.