Christmas partyIf something is going to ruin your office Christmas party, the chances are that it will involve alcohol. In fact, most problems that arise either during or after the office Christmas party are the direct result of employees overindulging on their favourite festive tipples.

While the office Christmas party is an opportunity for members of staff to unwind and have fun, it’s important that some employees don’t get carried away when the drinks begin to flow…

Here are a few things HR professionals must consider when it comes to the office Christmas party:

The Free Bar Dilemma

Over drinking is by far one of the most common downfalls of many an office Christmas party attendee, and the temptation to drink one too many will be all the more difficult to avoid if an employer kindly puts on a free bar. While offering a free bar is an enormous sign of generosity, it could also put employers in a difficult position if their employees were to behave badly as a result of drinking too much. Instead, HR professionals are advised to suggest employers offer their members of staff a couple of free drinks throughout the evening, rather than provide an endless supply.

Saying Things You Might Regret

Alcohol can easily loosen the tongue, so it’s important that employers try to avoid too many professional discussions at the office Christmas party – otherwise, you could end up accidentally agreeing to a promotion or pay rise! In the same breath, it’s also easy for employees to misinterpret harmless comments or say regrettable things to each other that could cause a few red faces the next day at work. In the worst cases, employees could even find themselves facing disciplinary action or even dismissal. Monitoring the amount of alcohol being consumed will help to avoid any of these unfortunate circumstances; this may mean some members of staff will need to volunteer to stay sober for the evening to make sure things run smoothly.

Alienating Non-Drinkers

While some employees will be looking forward to relaxing with a drink at the office Christmas party, it’s important to remember that not everyone will be drinking alcohol. Many members of staff will not be drinking, for various reasons, and employers must be mindful of not alienating these non-drinkers throughout the party-planning process. If an employer is providing their employees with free drinks they must create some sort of gesture towards the non-drinkers and ensure that the non-drinkers don’t feel uncomfortable. Also, if you employ members of staff that are under the legal drinking age, it’s essential that they are taken into consideration when planning the party – host the party somewhere they can legally attend and be sure to provide enough alternatives to alcohol.

The office Christmas party will be one of the most enjoyable times of the year, but things can swiftly go the wrong way if members of staff have one too many. Here are some cautionary tales from the secret sharing social media app, Whisper, for all HR professionals and office Christmas party attendees:

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