Don’t be the Fun Police… be the Smart Police instead

Look out. Party season is upon us.

Our tips to prepare for the festive season.

24 October, 2019

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love having fun. So the very last thing I will EVER say to a client is to stop the Christmas party due to risk of things going wrong. It is a sad day when your people can’t be rewarded and have a good time together. In fact, I usually say the opposite – make sure you encourage your people for doing great things.

So, keep the party, ditch the lack of planning and foresight. Here are a few ‘top tips’ to get ready for your Christmas party:

  1. Be smart about it. Don’t just plonk all of your people in a fun bar/restaurant and hope for the best.
  2. Make sure the venue is appropriate for the function. Numero Uno. Is it SAFE? For example, steer clear from venues where it is hard to keep an eye on everyone (i.e. venues with lots of small secluded rooms/areas), check the venue upholds RSA requirements and be clear that this will be very much expected on the day/night, do they serve food?… even a mini-risk assessment/visit of/to the venue is not OTT, it is smart.
  3. Make sure there are a few sober people there to supervise the event, work out how many in a ratio to your people. This is a big one. The legal obligations to keep people safe and prevent harassment/bullying/discrimination don’t end (as we know) outside the 4 walls of your business. It is incredible how much of a difference a few sets of sober eyes can have in keeping everyone out of harm’s way – i.e. getting too drunk… or gawd, too touchy feely. Sober eyes can really minimise harm in many ways, e.g. getting Jade some water/more food if she is getting too intoxicated, making sure silly arguments don’t start/continue or escalate, making sure Dave gets home ok if he for some reason needs to leave in a rush.. there are soooo many reasons why sober eyes are important.
  4. Keep serving food and water. We have all been there, we get excited, drink too fast, don’t eat enough, and it never ends well. Make sure there is plenty of water and hearty food on offer throughout the function.
  5. Yes, send the reminder. We are being warned now from our Work Health and Safety regulators about the need to ingrain our policies values and expectations into our culture. I have worked on 100’s of cases in this area and seen so many awful outcomes due to poor decisions made by people during poorly planned Christmas events. A strong message from the Boss before these events/silly season is important (and prudent). Remind people of the expectations of good behaviour in line with your policies and that yes, consequences will follow if expectations are not met. Set the bar – and be clear about it. An additional reminder to your leaders is also a great idea. This helps to instill the importance of great (proactive/safe) leadership and reminds leaders that they play a vital role to keeping everyone safe too.
  6. Have a great time!