Question: We had a great start to the year, so we invited our team to a night out; dinner and drinks, to celebrate. It’s a small team and we’re all adults, so we didn’t think it would be a big deal. Fast forward to the dinner and the team are ordering shots and cocktails from the outset. They were drunk and quickly became very rowdy and rude. The team all had a great time, but as the owner, I was embarrassed and concerned. How do we move past this?
Answer: Managing events with alcohol can be tricky. You can’t change what has already occurred, but you can change the way these events are managed in the future. We’ve compiled a few key questions to help you work out the best way run future team events.
- Do you need to have a conversation with individuals, or a team meeting, to discuss expectations about behaviour at work events? Setting clear expectations can be important to managing ongoing relationships.
- Do you need to review your workplace policies regarding workplace events? Perhaps a new workplace policy, where spirits and cocktails won’t be available at events needs to be implemented.
- In hindsight, did you need to speak up earlier, before behaviour got out of control? Although it can be difficult to have these conversations in the moment, sometimes behaviour that is rowdy and rude, becomes dangerous or crosses even more serious boundaries. As the owner/manager, this responsibility doesn’t disappear after hours.
- Are there other ways you can celebrate your wins? You might need to get creative to find something that gets the team as excited as a night out.
Despite the disappointment you felt at the time, this should not stop you celebrating your wins! Building and maintaining a great team culture is important. Celebrating your wins is a significant part of your business culture, however, doing this in a safe, respectful, enjoyable way is even more important.
*This is general information only and does not take your specific business circumstances into account.