As we approach the end of another busy year, everyone’s attention is slowly turning to Christmas... once at home with our family and friends this is a great holiday but for a business owner this can be fraught with potential issues.
- Staff arriving late after one too many at the Christmas party the night before
- Long lunches (we don’t really need an excuse for two Christmas parties right?)
- The dreaded Christmas cover rota
- Staff winding down (weeks before annual leave even starts)
- Party pictures appearing on social media channels...
- Upset staff who didn’t find their secret Santa very comical after all
Its better not to bury your head in the snow but rather ensure you have festive guidelines in place so you can manage staff expectation ahead of time. If you do need to stay open for business ask employees to nominate a few days they would each be willing to work, hopefully this will aid you in having enough cover for all of your open days. Also try to strike a good balance of work and fun – mince pies at the team meeting and office decorations won’t go a miss – you wouldn’t want to be classed as the Scrooge of managing directors!
It’s also a good idea to ‘remind’ staff of the Social Media, Sickness Absence and Conduct policies around this time. Remember your clients may be following your personal social media accounts and any inappropriate behaviour may damage your company’s reputation. If you do need to hold an investigation remember to follow these simple steps;
- Where possible have an impartial investigator carry out the procedure, where this isn’t possible in a small business ensure the person is as open minded as possible.
- Talk to all parties involved and produce written statements, include any additional evidence for example, social media posts, pictures or timesheets.
- Ask all parties who contribute to the written statements to sign the document to show they agree, this protects against disagreements later on down the line.
- The last stage of the process is to hold the investigation meeting, ensure a letter is sent to the employee involved giving them a reasonable amount of time to respond and to organise a companion who can accompany them to the meeting.
Whilst this task isn’t something you would wish to be undertaking at any time of year let alone Christmas remember it’s important to act accordingly and follow the procedures that are in place.
Impress HR can offer lots of free resources on our Work Wiltshire website – fill in a request form and we can email over the required policies and employee handbooks.
Happy Holidays – we hope it’s a stress free time of year for you and your employees!