How to Survive the Office Party as a Small Business Owner

December 19, 2011

The Yuletide season is upon us and that means office party season is in full swing. It’s a great way to thank everyone for their hard work and they can be great for team building, too. Who knew that new intern could do such an awesome Justin Bieber impression? Or that the receptionist was the head of her high school cheerleading team and…yes she still knows the old routines. But the office party is not only the social highlight of the firm’s year – it’s also potentially its biggest flashpoint too. If the Christmas spirit starts to overflow, simmering tensions (of every kind) may explode. As the boss, it’s important you make sure everyone has a great time without letting things get out of hand. Here are a few tips to make it go off without a hitch...

  • You wouldn't come across as the Grinch if you sent a light-hearted email to every member of staff gently reminding them of your company’s code of conduct and making it clear that it still applies at a work event, even if it’s held out of work hours and offsite.
  • The secret ingredient to a great night out isn't a large quantity of liquor. In fact, in today’s litigious climate, the equation can be very different. Take a group of people; add a lot of alcohol and the result can often be a messy, stressful and potentially expensive lawsuit. This is why it’s important that you watch out to make sure nobody is over served. If you’re throwing the party, this is part of your responsibility. Taking car keys at the door is one particularly effective preventive measure.
  • You’re the boss, set a good example. It’s good to help people let their hair down by taking the lead, but remember: many of your employees will take their behavioral lead from you, so if they see you with your shirt open to your navel doing the funky chicken on the dance floor they’ll figure that pretty much anything goes.

It’s likely that your office party will go off without a hitch, but why worry? This is another situation where the right small business insurance can come in handy. General liability insurance covers a lot of things, and this includes liquor liability for companies where this isn't their primary business. Keep an eye on yourself and your employees. Make sure nobody is over served, especially if they’re driving and keep your business protected with the right commercial general liability insurance. And try to think like a good casino boss: make sure everyone has a good time while stacking the odds in your favour.