Making Christmas season memorable
As the Christmas season reaches fever pitch, employers need to remind employees of the various risks associated with drug-use, harassment, and the irresponsible consumption of alcohol in the workplace.
However, these are not the only things employers should keep in mind. Employers should also keep the following in mind regarding their workers at this time of the year:
Give an appropriate gift: ‘secret santa’ is a common practice during the silly season, and whilst it is intended to be a light-hearted bit of fun, inappropriate gifts could result in workplace complaints. To ensure employees don’t receive a secret santa gift they’ll want to keep a secret, employers should consider the following:
l Gift-related complaints should be taken seriously and investigated accordingly. l Discourage employees from giving presents that may be misinterpreted. l Consider having the secret santa choose from a list of gifts nominated by each employee. l Ensure equality in gift giving — set a budget and make sure everyone sticks to it!
Preventing Christmas departures The Christmas break is a time to relax, unwind, and most importantly, to reflect. It is not surprising then that it is also a time when employers see a spike in resignations. To ensure your employees return after the Christmas break, it is worthwhile considering the following: l Discuss next year’s prospects and acknowledge employees’ contributions to the business. l Organise a New Year event — make coming back to work something to look forward to. l Deal with HR or role issues before the break — don’t leave problems unresolved.
How to manage employees without leave
How do you handle an employee who has not accrued enough annual leave during Christmas business closures? Unfortunately for employers, if employment contracts do not specify what to do in this situation, employees are not required to take unpaid leave.
If you find yourself in this situation, the following three options may be presented to employees: l Take advanced annual leave (against the leave they will accrue in future); l Take unpaid leave (though, as mentioned above, this is not a requirement); l Work as a “skeleton staff” member.
Christmas season procedures It’s a great time of year, the days are long and warm and we are having a good time, generally. This is the perfect opportunity to show employees how valued they are and thank them for their commitment throughout the year. It also provides the chance to spend time with your team and get to know them personally.
Unfortunately things can and do go wrong, so preparation is key.
Here are five tips to avoid problems and make sure the party is fun and enjoyable for all: Revisit your policies and procedures relating to discrimination, sexual harassment, drugs and alcohol, bullying and code of conduct; send an email to staff reminding them of their obligations under the company policies and procedures and if you haven’t rolled out training in the last 12 months, maybe think about refresher training; Ensure invitations have a start and finish time; Consider issues that may arise and have preventative measures in place;
Nominate senior members of staff to monitor behaviours during the party and if needed close the bar for half an hour.
All this said, embrace the spirit of Christmas and take time to know your people.
— Various sources
It is risky to take alcohol in the workplace, thus production and employee relations could be affected.