Bear with me, but I have a radical ideas on how to reduce the risk of bad behaviour at the office Christmas party.
Before I stun you with its earth shattering brilliance, let me give you some context.
I was listening to lawyer Athena Koelmeyer being interviewed by Damien Carrick on RN’s law report on Monday evening. The topic of the program was ‘The Christmas work party and the law’ with the introductory blurb saying:
Office Christmas parties are a time to celebrate. But when things go awry, there can be serious legal ramifications.
Athena does a wonderfully entertaining job – I would highly recommend a listen – telling a number of stories about Christmas parties that have gone horribly wrong and the legal cases that followed for unfair dismissal, injury claims and sexual harassment.
It certainly creates a legal minefield when bad behaviour occurs at the office Christmas party. But don’t fear I have a radical idea on how to reduce these risks. Hope you’re sitting down. This one thing may save you a heap of time, cost and embarrassment.
So, here we go. Ready?
Create an engaged workplace all year round
I know its out there, but maybe creating an engaged, fun, authentic workplace all year round might lessen the risk of bad things happening at the end of the year?
If you have created a highly engaged workplace all year round, the risk of it all blowing up when you add a bit of alcohol is significantly reduced. Issues have been surfaced and dealt with throughout the year. Bad bosses have been moved on, as have employees who don’t buy in to the organisations values and direction.
There’s no simmering discontent just below the surface. People have been able to bring their whole selves to work, so there is less risk of the emergence of a case of Jekyll and Hyde when you add the free alcohol.
People are also able to communicate to their colleagues if they think they are getting a bit out of control, because they trust their intent and have built a relationship as human beings. And if it someone does get a bit worse for wear, there’s a far better chance they will be properly looked after – because that’s what would happen in an engaged workplace.
I know it’s a bit left field, but just an idea….