Posted on by Jessica Peaty

Company Christmas Parties: Avoiding HR nightmares

Does your company traditionally hold a Christmas party? If so, that’s great! Staff Christmas parties are an excellent way to talk to employees you won’t normally spend much time with during a regular working day. It’s a fun melting pot for all the watercooler moments you’ve experienced that year. To avoid unwanted HR nightmares, make sure to review your policies first and foremost!

Of course, there can be darker sides to the Christmas party that are best avoided. Employees embarrassing themselves in front of the boss, drinking a bit too much, or even organisers picking an inappropriate venue! To help you avoid any unnecessary awkwardness, Selima presents your Christmas party survival guide for both managers and employees!

Inform your employees

It sounds rather obvious to send all of your employees invitations and reminders of the upcoming party, but ensure it gets done! Here’s some tips on how to make sure you’ve briefed everyone:

  • Send the initial email well in advance. A notice period of about 4-6 weeks should suffice.
  • Don’t pressure your employees into attending if they have commitments already planned.
  • Conversely, don’t exclude any particular employees from attending. Even if they’re not planning on going, employees will appreciate and acknowledge the invite.
  • Plan the party for a Friday if you can. This drastically minimises the risk of employees missing work the next day, allowing them to recover (if needs be!) in their own time over the weekend.

Keep social media in check!

Ensure that social media “coverage” of the Christmas party is kept in check by your employees. This means making sure no statuses or photos are published that could potentially harm your business’s reputation. If this is something you’re particularly concerned about, then make sure to let your employees know ahead of time that any offending social media posts won’t be tolerated.

On the other hand, definitely promote the use of social media among employees at the party. This could include positive comments about the venue and group photos of staff enjoying themselves. How all staff behaves at the event should be an extension of the workplace, but that doesn’t mean they’re at work!

If you have any concerns about this on the day, it may be worth having your staff review the company’s HR policies. Easily organising and providing access to your HR policies is but one of many of Selima’s HR software solutions.

Be ready to deal with the nightmares!

Squeaky clean Christmas parties aren’t by any means a foregone conclusion. As we’ve mentioned, staff should behave as civil at the party as they would in the workplace. Obviously we wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but be prepared to meet breaches of conduct with the appropriate disciplinary action.

It may sound overly harsh, but it’s not quite fair for one employee or a group of them to spoil the fun for everyone else! Selima’s HR software features a system to manage disciplinaries of any severity.


At Selima we understand the Christmas period is one of the most intense and stressful for many companies. Christmas parties can be an extension of this if poorly managed. While they absolutely should be fun social gatherings where your staff can unwind, a strong HR presence is needed to ensure everything goes smoothly. To make life easier, consider getting in touch with us about our HR and payroll software solutions.

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