‘Tis the season for holiday festivities, end of year celebrations and employee recognition but it is also a time of year that can be a source of liability for an employer if not handled properly. Here are a few quick tips for planning the upcoming company event(s):
- Plan Ahead – Come up with a plan of what the event will be well in advance and make it applicable to the work environment and economic conditions of the company. Is a lunch or dinner event more in line with the culture of the company? Maybe it should be something different like a trip to an amusement park or a volunteer day at a local non-profit, depending on the culture of the company. If there have been recent layoffs or employees haven’t received raises in a while, it may not be a good idea to throw a huge event because that could be perceived negatively. A smaller celebration may be best for that type of situation.
- Establish an Alcohol Policy – If alcohol is served, use drink tickets or some other system to limit consumption, serve food at the event and make car services or taxis available to employees. For non-alcoholic events, there are plenty of options available that will still keep things festive such as sparkling cider and mocktails.
- Reinforce Company Policies – Remind employees that company policies are still applicable during company events and that violations of company policy will result in the appropriate disciplinary action. Instances of inappropriate behavior such as sexual harassment, assault, etc. are higher during this time of year and it is important for companies to but in safeguards to limit the opportunities for these things to happen.
- Incorporate Recognition – Make it a celebration of the employees successes over the past year by recognizing both individuals and/or groups. Whether it is presenting service awards or some other form of recognition reward, it is a great way to show appreciation to employees while they are amongst their peers and company leaders.
- Have FUN – What employees will remember most is how the event made them feel, so whatever the event or celebration is, what matters most is that people have fun and feel appreciated.