December has arrived! And along with the cold weather comes a flood of holiday party invitations.

Hosting a holiday event for your employees is a great way to express your appreciation for the work that they do. But it’s also important to make sure things don’t get out of hand since holiday parties do usually include alcohol. Keep in mind that you’re responsible for your employees and guests both during and after the party.

Here are just a few tips to help things run smoothly.

Monitor the alcohol

If something goes wrong at a party, more times than not, alcohol can be blamed. But alcohol usually plays a role in holiday parties, so you probably don’t want to cut it out of your event entirely. Luckily, there are ways to monitor your guests’ alcohol intake throughout the party.

By either purchasing an appropriate amount of alcohol or limiting the amount on the bar tab, you can ensure not too much liquor is consumed during the party. Drink tickets can also be used, so that each employee is given a designated amount of beverages for the evening.

It’s also always a good idea to provide non-alcoholic beverages so that people can drink other things if they so choose. Putting some water out is an especially good idea so that everyone stays hydrated.

Do your homework

Before the party even starts there are some simple things you can do to prepare. Make sure you have a list of important employee information, including food allergies and emergency contacts. By keeping track of any allergies, you can stop problems from happening from the get-go. Having emergency contacts on hand is important, so that if something does go wrong despite your precautions, you know the appropriate person to call for each of your employees or their guests.

Make sure the venue is properly prepared

Whether you’re hosting a small celebration during work hours or planning something larger at an off-site location, it’s important to make sure that the venue is as safe as possible.

All walkways and exits should be clear of snow and ice. Before the party starts, and perhaps even again before it ends if it’s snowing, paths into and out of the building should be shovelled and salt should be put down to clear ice.

Adequate lighting should also be provided where employees will walk outside, especially if they’ll be there at night. These precautions will help eliminate the risk of slips, trips, and falls on the premises, which you could be held liable for. Nothing quite ruins the mood of a party like an injury and then a costly lawsuit.

Be prepared for the end of the party

As the party is wrapping up you might be just about to breathe a giant sigh of relief. But you’re not out of the woods yet!

Some of the biggest risks arise when the party is ending. As attendees leave the party, you have a responsibility to make sure that they get home safely. With both winter weather and the potential for intoxicated drivers, you’ve got a number of risks you need to navigate. If anyone is injured or is involved in an accident that injures a third party or causes damages to property, you could be liable for the damages.

If anyone is injured while they drive home or is involved in an accident that injures a third party or causes damages to property, you could be liable for the damages.

You can combat these risks by pre-arranging taxi rides or handing out taxi chits to employees. This is an easy way to ensure that everyone can enjoy themselves, but get home safely too!

And if the worst should happen

If you have business insurance, your commercial general liability coverage may cover your employees, their guests, and any third parties in the event of an accident. But be sure to double-check your policy prior to the party, or look into getting covered if you’re not already.

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.