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Christmas party etiquette for your employees

If you haven’t already had your annual Christmas party, this coming Friday 15th December is the most popular night to celebrate.

This event in the calendar year is for many the one chance that employers can recognise the hard work that their employees have achieved over the year. Regardless of varying religious and differing beliefs, the holiday season is a great time for reflection and celebration. Ensuring that everyone enjoys themselves is key to the success of the night, but you equally need to ensure that staff are both safe and ‘well-behaved’!

No matter how much pre-planning you do, it’s important to also understand how to deal with any issues that may arise and indeed ‘can you deal with these issues, even if they happened outside of the workplace?’

Before the evening starts…

A gentle reminder about your company’s expectations is a good idea. Choose to mention it in a more generalised email, which talks about dress code and the start time of the party. That way it will not be perceived as solely a negative message.

Equally this is your chance to mention about social media posting. ‘Selfies’ from the party are ultimately representing your brand, so some etiquette in what’s uploaded is important!

Food and alcohol

Everyone likes to get merry at this time of the year, but there’s ‘merry’ and there’s ‘merry’!!!

There is a temptation to offer a free bar if your budget allows, but this can lead to ‘situations’ with people who choose to drink more than they should have!

If there is going to be alcohol available, ensure that food is served too, regardless of whether your company is paying for the bar bill or not. One option to consider could be drinks tokens – this is a great way to monitor alcohol consumption paid for by your company. Another suggestion could be to provide drinks with the meal only – that way employees are accountable for how much more alcohol they purchase.

Work talk etiquette

You’re at a party and suppose to be enjoying yourself… Ideally work-talk should be left alone! A reminder to all staff “If it’s confidential in the workplace, it should remain just that at the Christmas party”.


This is a somewhat grey area. Although out of hours and usually not on company premises, any acts of misconduct, especially if you have provided alcohol could easily fall back on your company.

Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to conduct an investigation which could potentially result in disciplinary action, so you will need to ensure that you follow all procedures correctly.

Rest assured, the most likely issue that you will encounter at your company Christmas party will be the ‘after-stories’!


However, if something does gone wrong, or indeed if a situation has already occurred, be it any sort of harassment, discrimination or upset, Clover HR is here to help and advise

Please call 0121 516 0299 in total confidence or email info@cloverhr.co.uk.

We look forward to hearing from you…




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