To many people the Christmas party season is the highlight of the year, not so if you work in HR!
Firstly you have to negotiate the obstacles to arrange the party – where, when, what, ensuring you accommodate as many people as possible and don’t arrange anything with can be deemed discriminatory!
Then you have the party!
Do you attend? If not are you going to be perceived as the no fun HR person? Or if you attend are you going to have your ear bent by people talking work and raising all kinds of issues?
One thing is for sure you have to remain fairly sober, just in case anything happens that you need to intervene in.
Do you go for a bit to show your face and leave early before it gets mess or do you stay and make sure everyone gets home ok?
And then you have the consequences to deal with, if it is a work night employees may be late in or off sick(!) and no doubt time will be wasted talking about what happened. Not to mention the possible fallings out, grievances or disciplinaries that may arise! Because, although many employees forget this, it is still work and whatever happens the employer is liable for.
Many offices parties I am sure go without a hitch, but awareness of all of the above means the Christmas party often gives us HR folk a headache!
So how do you survive Christmas party season when you work in HR?
With a smile on your face and a deep breath!