HR’S Checklist for an office party

Planning an office party, here’s the essential list of dos and don’ts, you cannot afford to miss.

Employees look forward to celebrate some good time at their workplaces and socialize with their colleagues, as this helps them bond better and work closer. If the HR team of an organisation plans to organise an office party, they should ensure that employees are encouraged to enjoy themselves, albeit under some restrictions.

Here are few key aspects that should not be overlooked while organising an office party:

  • Safety of the venue: Often office parties or social functions are organised within the premises itself. However, HR person should check that the venue is safe and devoid of any hazardous materials and areas (e.g. balconies, staircases, etc). Any accident, major or minor will adversely affect the festive spirit. Moreover, the damage to the employee caused could prove to be detrimental for the reputation of the HR team. If the party is organised outside the workplace, the safety and management needs more stringent inspection. The waiters should be well-informed about what to serve and what not. The venue should be spacious to accommodate all employees comfortably.
  • Themes & activities: Planning a theme-based social can be a good idea, as it will help in setting up the activities for the function. Design a simple theme like ‘Beer and Biryani’ or add the festive essence to it by naming it as ‘Dassera or Diwali Dhamaka’. The decor, dress code, food, activities, music, games and overall entertainment can be planned accordingly. The activities designed will ensure that employees enjoy to the fullest and not just sulk in a corner.
  • Food & beverages: Get an idea how many employees could be attending the party. It will help in arranging for sufficient food and drinks for all. If you decide to include alcoholic beverages in the function, then a communication suggesting responsible behaviour and drinking practice should be shared with all employees. Last thing you would want to see is a senior official getting abused by his or her drunken sub-ordinate or manager.
  • Timings: It is good to have a start and (especially) end time for the party, as some obligatory restrictions are essential for an official social function. Employees may not stop till they are told to. Setting up a deadline till about 11 pm or maximum by 12, will ensure they finish their work on time, attend the party and leave on time.
  • Employee Engagement: HR person should remember that the parties are not just a part of their KPIs, but an important channel to engage employees in the organisation. Often employees (especially, sales and marketing) are out on field or for client visits. Some plan their annual leaves, in advance. So, function should be scheduled on a day when majority of employees can attend.
  • Important Guidelines: Sending a mail with important guidelines, described in brief to employees is a mandate. Communications on dress code (say, traditional or casual but not revealing), behaviour, honouring the company policies, etc should be sent out to employees.

Office parties are expected to be casual and help employees to break barriers. It encourages employees to celebrate and know each other better. However, even with all the enjoyment and merry-making the workplace decorum should be maintained.