The holidays are right around the corner and it seems like advertisements begin running and decorations hit the shelves earlier and earlier every year. Now that Labor Day has passed and Fall has begun, it’s time to prepare for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all the holidays your office celebrates.
With the holiday season come parties of every kind with family, friends, and co-workers. While the checklist to throw a fun company party can seem exhaustive, security measures are oftentimes not properly planned for. Holiday party security plans are especially important for businesses to prepare as they begin to plan for the holiday season and company parties.
6 Holiday Office Party Safety Tips
Year-end holiday parties are an opportunity to reward your employees and give them an afternoon or evening off to enjoy games, food, drinks, contests, and more. They have a long-standing tradition in the business world for bringing everyone together and celebrating the year the company has had. Food and venue arrangements have to be made, invitations sent out, and entertainment options decided on.
Depending on your budget, you can go all out with fancy catering and great entertainment. Or you could have everyone pitch in and throw a potluck style party where everyone brings a dish and their favorite game and comes as they are. Both have their own perks, but no matter what kind of party you throw, you need to have security measures in place well before the day of the event. Safeguard you and your employees from drinking-related accidents, sexual harassment, and more with these six safety tips.
1. Remind Employees of Policies
The first step in setting yourself up for a successful and safe party is to remind everyone of the company’s policies beforehand. Go over language, behavior, dress, and sexual harassment policies. This may be uncomfortable to discuss, but going over major bullet points will be quick and can prevent much more serious incidents from occurring. Use every form of communication as well. Bring it up in meetings, send the policies in a company-wide email, and print and tape them up throughout the office leading up the party.
If accidents happen at the event, your company’s benefits could be severely impacted. You could also find yourself deep in legal troubles. The benefits of reminding employees of your policies far outweigh the potential risks.
2. Lead by Example
Encourage upper management to attend company parties and remind them that their presence and behavior will set the tone for the evening. Holiday parties are a great opportunity for everyone to interact in a more casual environment with their peers and managers alike. Upper management can lead by example at work parties just like they lead by example in the office: showing up on time, dressed appropriately, and eager to have a good time.
3. Designate Monitors
Monitors aren’t just for high school proms, they are necessary at work parties as well. Parties usually start on a good note, but when upper management leaves, some employees may feel more relaxed and that inappropriate behavior won’t be noticed. There should be several designated sober monitors dispersed throughout the party. They should watch out for inappropriate behavior, language, and when someone has had too much to drink.
You can look into hiring a security team for your event or see if managers within the office will step up to monitor. Equip them with the number to call a cab and go over how to handle inappropriate language and behavior.
4. Drink Responsibly
If alcohol is served, limit drinking to the first half of the party and stop serving all alcohol at least two hours before the event ends. You can also limit drinks by handing out limited drink tickets when guests arrive. Consider having all holiday parties at a venue where professional bartenders are more experienced in monitoring who has had too much and checking ID’s to ensure no one underage is served alcohol. Be sure to offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages as well for those who don’t drink.
5. Invite the Family
Inappropriate behavior can be mitigated by opening the event to families and guests. When employees are allowed to bring guests, they should arrive ready to show off their company and co-workers. Not every company event should always be open to outside guests, but holiday parties are the perfect time to introduce guests to the company and its people.
6. Secure the Venue
If you have parties outside of the office, it’s important to take time to choose the best venue. Think about places that are in a safe part of town and ones that have accessible and safe parking lots. Survey the room you will be in for any obvious hazards like wires that could be tripped over and choose sensible decorations and food that will be easy to work with. You should understand the venue’s policies for emergencies and take note of the exits and safety measures they implement. Don’t be afraid to ask to see their safety certifications to make sure they’re up to date.
You are responsible for your employees’ safety at company events. Lay down the rules and consider the above measures to avoid incurring liability. Holiday parties are great morale boosters and should be fun for everyone. These tips will help you plan for safe and fun holiday office parties. Discover more safety tips for office events here. We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season this year!