Here comes the festive season yet again with the routine end of year parties and office celebrations. Under those wonderful celebrations lie the murky waters of potential litigations and reputational damage that may result from reckless incidents.
Whether the Christmas party takes place outside of working hours and/or off company premises, the normal laws that protect employees and their rights still apply under the Safety at work Act. If an employee is injured or abused in any way, the company may well be legally liable.
Furthermore, employee relations issues can arise when an office party is planned insensitively; when this follows a period of cost-cutting and redundancies or when no consideration was given to staff from a different faith.
A few tips to consider:
There’s little doubt that businesses benefit from having engaged employees. The landmark piece of research in this field, the MacLeod Report, provided conclusive evidence that staff who enjoy their work and feel connected with their company are more loyal, productive and committed to their jobs.
But eight years on – and several more convincing research studies later – businesses still seem to be struggling with the concept, with surveys showing that levels of disengagement across industry are still high.
It’s a problem that companies cannot afford to ignore. The shock waves created by Brexit, a volatile economic climate and political upheavals around the globe have combined to create massive uncertainty in the workplace. If companies want to keep hold of talented employees, they need to make sure people feel valued, understand where the business is going and can see they have a part in its future.