Ho Ho….Huh? It’s not called the silly season for nothing..


Ho Ho….Huh? It’s not called the silly season for nothing..

With the Silly Season fast approaching, many businesses are now readying themselves for the end of year festivities and a well-earned break. Work pressures can decrease and people tend to be more relaxed as we head to the end of the year.  But, with the jingle of bells there can be staff problems relating to a multitude of things, such as inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party, a careless Social Post, and a big one – too many employees taking holidays at the same time, leaving your business understaffed.  

These situations can be avoided – read on for some tips on how to have an enjoyable festive season. 

Christmas party shenanigans


The end of year Christmas party or work break-up is looked forward to by many. It’s a chance to relax and unwind and celebrate another year of hard work. Everyone can come together, enjoy a drink and have fun. But in some instances, some people can have too much fun! The drinking can become excessive, pent up frustrations between co-workers can implode and all of a sudden you have a harassment claim on your hands. Simple and effective ways to avoid this are to circulate your businesses Drug and Alcohol policy around along with the Code of Conduct at least 2 weeks before said party. Another good policy to refer to is the Social Media policy to avoid any inappropriate posts from your employees. Print the policies out and post them in your tea or break areas. Or, if you have an HRIS, send a reminder email/notification for staff to review the policies that they should have already agreed to.  Simple reminders of how you expect your employees to behave and a reminder of what may happen if they don’t can go a long way in ensuring a work break-up for all to enjoy. 

Christmas bonus  

Many businesses put on a company Christmas party as their end of year bonus for employees, however some also have a budget for individual employee gifts. There is no right or wrong with this- it is simply a matter of affordability. If you were looking for different ideas as to what to give your employees, some ideas ranging from less to luxe could be: a Visa gift voucher with an amount of your choosing, some movie tickets, a paid morning or afternoon off work, a fuel voucher, a Christmas Hamper, a Day Spa gift certificate, a night’s accommodation somewhere or an experience such as a hot air balloon ride or sports car rental for the day. Websites such as hardtofind.com.au and redballoon.com.au can provide more unique examples of possible gifts to give your staff- remember it’s the thought that counts!  

Annual leave 

Now is the time to look at the December calendar and see who has applied for annual leave. If your business does not have a shutdown over this period, you must ensure that there is enough staff per department to adequately run your business. Many businesses who don’t have a Christmas shutdown choose to have a skeleton staff, keeping bare minimum employees working to cover this period. But how do you choose who gets holidays and who doesn’t? There needs to be a fair and equitable process in this regard- often you will find that some employees prefer to work over the quieter Christmas period preferring to then take some holidays earlier in the New Year. Consider employees with young families and limited child care over this period. Put out a staff email in September to see who might want to take leave and when and act from there. If your business is still striving during the holiday period, why not consider temping staff as an alternative?   HR Central can provide you with professional and experienced temps to help manage the months when you may be light on with your regular employees. 

So keep these tips in mind to ensure you and your employees celebrate the silly season in style without any drama.

Olivia Bates

Olivia is an HR professional with over 14 years industry experience. She brings a great wealth of experience to the HR Central team and focuses mainly on supporting our vastly growing Regional Victoria client base. Olivia dedicates most of her time helping clients with: * Organisational development and change management * Employee engagement and coaching including work with Leadership teams from Geelong Football Club * Employee relations and dispute resolution * Leadership development and youth empowerment. This program is aimed at disengaged people and provides skills in job seeking, well-being, finances, personal presentation and career planning * HR Products developed include The Ops Box – a highly visual HR risk management tool housing essential policies and procedures for any workplace * Project and Grant management experience * Contract and Tender development & management * Permanent and executive recruitment. Olivia has placed candidates across a multitude of industries with a strong focus on the mining sector Australia wide.

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