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11 ways to HR your way through Christmas

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It’s Christmas time, everyone is in high spirits, but what do you need to be mindful of as a manager?

1. People will embarrass themselves. It might be a gaudy Christmas jumper; it might be a mistletoe mistake. Deal with it graciously.

2. If you host a party at a fancy restaurant, the portions will be small, the booze will be free flowing and it also means that Linda from accounts will sing Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m Every Woman’ acapella. There’s probably not a HR policy for that.

3. Linda (and a few others) might be absent the day after – tread carefully – and use disciplinary action at your discretion.

4. Just get on with things. There might be snow falling, but as far as you’re concerned, it’s business as usual.

5. Use your head. The same policies that you have all year round still apply, so if Dave from Marketing does decide to head butt Cat from Marketing after a few bevvies, know he can’t blame it on the ‘festive spirit’.

6. Try not to worry too much about the specifics: generally people are nicer around Christmas (except for the Scrooges – I’m looking at you Dave).

7. Remember when socialising that you’re with colleagues and not friends. Controversial opinions are best kept to yourself - even if you really do hate sprouts that much.

8. Secret Santa is not a free-for-all. NB: if you wouldn’t buy it in a shop with your head held high, it’s probably not an appropriate gift for a colleague.

9. Try donating to charity instead. No one likes an awkward present-exchange.

10. Be kind. An early finish on Christmas Eve could mean the world to your staff. They’ll probably just be eating mince pies and not working anyway.

11. Embrace the Christmas cheer: let your staff decorate their workspace, have a designated ‘ugly Christmas jumper day’, put on a Christmas playlist and loosen up a bit!

Zee Hussain

By Zee Hussain

Zee is an employment partner at Simpson Millar.

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