As we move closer to the end of another year, it’s time to think about your preparations for the end-of-year work party. Is the venue, catering and entertainment all sorted? Have you notified your employees about what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour at the party? If not, have you considered what the consequences might be if you don’t?
It’s understandable – especially because these events usually happen outside the workplace – that some may forget that your organisation’s policies are just as applicable at work parties as they are during normal work hours.
An easy way to remind employees of your expectations is via an email to the entire organisation – preferably coming from the CEO or another senior executive – that makes these expectations clear.
The email should draw recipients’ attention to your organisation’s HR policies and procedures related to code of conduct. But, because these are mostly written in the general workplace context, it can sometimes be challenging to convey the relevance of these to a function that occurs outside the normal work environment and operating hours.
A simple and effective way to do provide this context is to deliver targeted training specific to work parties. Implementing effective training also establishes that you took all reasonable steps – as required by the law – to prevent inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, wherever that may be.
So what if you don’t have time to draft the email, or maybe you’re not sure how to word it? Learning Seat can help! Use the template below and customise it to your needs.
‘The festive season is almost upon us, which means that it’s time for us to celebrate the hard work everyone’s put in throughout the year. Our [FUNCTION NAME (e.g. end-of-year, Christmas)] party will be held at [VENUE] on [DATE] and we look forward to sharing the year’s successes and great achievements with you all.
Just remember, even though it’s being held away from work, the party is still considered to be ‘in the workplace’ from a legal perspective. This means that we expect you to behave appropriately and according to the same standards that apply at work.
Before the party, you’ll be asked to complete training on ‘appropriate behaviour at work parties’. This is a short, 15-minute online module to remind you of what is regarded as appropriate behaviour at work parties, the definition of ‘the workplace’, the laws that apply, and what the potential consequences of breaching these laws can be.
I also urge you to take a look at our HR policies to make sure you’re clear on our expectations. Breaches of these policies at the party will be treated no differently than if they occurred at your normal workplace. If you’d like to clarify any aspect of the policies, please speak with your manager or Human Resources.
It’s been a great year and I’m really looking forward to celebrating everyone’s hard work. Let’s make sure it’s memorable for all the right reasons. Don’t let inappropriate behaviour or consumption of too much alcohol get in the way of everyone having a great time. And remember that consuming or even carrying illicit drugs is against the law and will be dealt with accordingly.
Let’s go out, have fun and make sure everyone gets home safe and well so we can do it all again next year.’
Learning Seat’s ‘Appropriate behaviour at work parties’ course can help put the compliance message in the correct context so you can be sure your end of year work function is safe, enjoyable and successful for all those involved.