It’s that time of year when businesses start planning their holiday parties, parties which have the potential to go horrifically wrong if things get out of hand, or the company does a poor job planning and preparing. National Federation of Small Business State Director Dawn Starns says harassment awareness is at an all-time-high, so don’t incentivize inappropriate behavior.
“Don’t hang the mistletoe. It’s kinda one of those things you don’t need to encourage, even though it might be fun decoration.”
She says you can help keep workers from going too hard by employing professional bartenders who refuse to serve folks who look too drunk.
And, make sure the event is voluntary, just in case someone at your business isn’t interested in some afterhours fraternizing.
“Folks shouldn’t feel obligated to go to an event. That way people don’t have to be an uncomfortable position if they don’t want to be in one.”
And before any party takes place, make sure your harassment policy is up to date, and if you don’t have one, you should get on that right now.
“Every small business owner needs to have a written policy on anti-harassment, and how to handle that.”
She also recommends hiring Ubers for your employees if alcohol will be involved.