Preventing Silly Behaviour in the Silly Season


Preventing Silly Behaviour in the Silly Season

Are you silly or sensible when it comes to managing staff behaviour at public events in the festive season?

Everyone wants to have fun at social events however there are risks that are associated with staff attending events that you host or that you and your company are invited to.  Whether the event is at your office, your home or venue and employees are required or encourages to be present, the employer’s obligations under the Work, Health and Safety Legislation remain the same.  Not only is there a Health and Safety risk, there is also the risk of damaging your company profile.

Setting clear expectations on how employees should conduct themselves while representing the company will help avoid unfavourable behaviour and in turn, any disciplinary action.  When the event is over the responsibilities to the employee and company are relinquished.  Employees who continue on to another venue should be made aware that from that point onwards, they are responsible for their own actions.

There are some points and tips below in how you may manage expectation, reduce inappropriate behaviour and how you can communicate this to your employees.

Tips for Employers

Have a policy!  Having policies to help you mitigate any type of unfavourable behaviour is the best place to start.  There are a few policies that can help, Drug & Alcohol, Code of Conduct, and Workplace Health & Safety just to name a few.  If you don’t have a policy, it may be the perfect opportunity to implement one.  You can always talk to a HR professional before introducing a new policy.

Remind your employees.  Before events arise, remind your employees of company policies and be clear about what your expectations are.  Remind employees that unacceptable behaviour could result in Disciplinary Action.  A staff meeting or companywide email is a great way to communicate your message.

Limit high content alcohol.  If the event is being organised on behalf of you or your business, you are in control of what alcohol is being supplied.  It is always a good idea to limit high content alcohol and have non-alcoholic drinks readily available.  If it is not your event, remind your employees that consuming lower content alcohol is best practice.

Be a leader.  Lead your team by example.  You are their leader and they will look to you for direction and you set the limits.

Tips for Employees

Read your policies.  Your company policies will set out clear expectations in these situations.  It is your responsibility to read and abide by your company policies.  If you are unsure where to find your policies, talk to your manager or supervisor.

Ask your manager or colleagues.   If you are new to a company and you are unsure of what the event entails, ask a colleague who has been before or your manager/ supervisor.

Set yourself limits.  You know your own limits and it is always best to set yourself a limit when it comes to how much alcohol you should consume.  Maybe it is a better idea to remain sober for the event.

Ensure you eat enough food.  Generally evening events will have food supplied but if you are unsure, try to eat something before you attend.

Setting clear expectations and being aware of what your obligations are is important for yourself and most of all your employees.  Your employees are your company’s ambassadors but you are their leader and you set the limits.  Encourage your team to attend and enjoy the event responsibly.

HR Central

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