Yahoo! Stampede is upon us once again! As we all know, from a business perspective, Stampede is a great opportunity for networking, connecting with business partners, clients and colleagues over pancakes or beer. Hosting Stampede parties or events is also a great way to show staff appreciation, build morale and encourage team bonding.
However, due to the nature of Stampede festivities, there can be some questionable behaviour and shenanigans that may accompany the fun. So as we gear up for the next 10 days of Stampede breakfasts, parties, and events, it will be important to manage the risk of staff misconduct, grievance and other HR related issues. In order to be proactive, here are a few guidelines to help employers ensure a safe and incident free Stampede!
Code of Conduct
- Remind everyone that it is a work event and that employees are still expected to act in a professional manner and in line with company policies. They are representing the company even off the premises and the party venue is an extension of the workplace. Be clear about acceptable behaviour and the consequences of inappropriate actions.
- Remind staff of your Alcohol Consumption policy and follow company protocol for the responsible consumption of alcohol.
- Have a clear start and finish to the party.
- In order to limit excessive drinking, consider allotting a limited number of drink tickets, rather than open bar.
- Don’t make it compulsory to attend and ensure there are non-alcoholic beverage options.
Drinking and Driving
- Remind staff not to drink and drive and to make suitable arrangements to get home if they want to drink. Consider providing taxi chits or organized transportation. If you don’t want to fund this then you could offer to arrange/organize this for staff on the basis that they will have to pay for this service.
- Inform staff that over indulging at the Stampede Party doesn’t excuse them from coming into work the next day. Alternatively, if you are being more lenient on work start times, be clear and make sure it is communicated.
- Even though western wear is the Stampede uniform, people’s interpretation can vary. Remind staff of what is considered appropriate and professional.
- Remind employees of your Social Media policy and that it’s not just the employee’s own personal and professional reputation or safety that they need to safeguard, but anything that might reflect badly on the employer could have serious repercussions.
Overall, Stampede is festive and fun, so without taking away from that, a gentle reminder of your policies and some general common sense can go a long way in minimizing any risks of HR issues and ensures a fun and successful Stampede! Yeehaw!