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Weigh up office Christmas party options, employers urged

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When it comes to organising the staff Christmas party, employers have a number of issues to consider.

The general consensus is that such events can help boost employee morale and secure their loyalty – which persuades employers to invest in them year-on-year.

But Dr David Fraser, executive director of Change for Leaders, and author of Relationship Mastery: A Business Professional’s Guide, said firms must consider whether their objective is principally providing a reward for work done and investing in goodwill, or something more specific in the way of a development outcome.

He argued that too much emphasis on a direct business benefit is likely to be misplaced and counter-productive.

At the same time, the company needs to ensure it is protected legally in the event of unfortunate behaviour on the part of attendees who may have overindulged, Dr Fraser said.

The same applies when booking professional entertainers – it is important to ensure they will not offend minority groups within the workplace.

“Consider whether the right course is the company officially organising an event or the company contributing to an event that is actually being led by a group of employees,” he added.

Dr Fraser said a variety of practical matters about venue and catering need to be settled, and decisions made about what contribution is asked of employees.

“Typically only a proportion of a workforce really want to attend a Christmas party, and it’s best to respect preferences either way,” he noted.