Inclusivity at Company Events

Ben McCarthy

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05 Nov 2019

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Social events—parties, group outings, or activity days—are a great way to reward your hard-working staff.

They help create a positive company culture. They show appreciation for employees and recognise individual contributions. And, they encourage ongoing development in your staff (and your business).

But what might be an exciting experience for one, could be awkward and uncomfortable for another.

Inclusivity at company events

What to keep in mind…

When organising any event, keep inclusivity in mind. It’s unlikely that every member of staff will want to take part. Regardless, you should make sure you provide them all with the opportunity to do so.

Always consider how certain events may alienate employees. This could be due to religious beliefs or personal circumstances. No matter what these are, factor them in to your preparations.

For example, if you’re serving alcohol you might alienate those who don’t drink. Or, if you’re planning a physical activity, disabled employees might struggle to take part.

Remember, nobody should be treated less favourably due to a protected characteristic. This can be devastating for employee morale. And, it runs the risk of a potential discrimination claim.

Be wary of favouritism

There’s nothing wrong with using a company event as a way to reward employees. However, it’s unwise to exclude staff members on the basis that they’re not doing as well as their colleagues.

Why? It could damage your employment relationship with the employee.

You should issue invited to everyone who is off work too, allowing them to attend. They could be absent due to family reasons or sick leave—but that doesn’t mean they should be excluded.

Party planning

Your employees may have many different dietary requirements. Plan your event with this in mind. If you’re serving food, make sure your employees can outline what they can and cannot eat. Also, always ensure there is a vegetarian option available. And, offer soft drinks alongside alcohol for employees who don’t drink

Remind employees of the levels of behaviour expected of them during these events. If there are any instances of bullying, or harassment, you should deal with them through normal procedures.

Company events are increasingly popular, and are a fun method of engaging with employees. If organised properly they can encourage continued loyalty and boost morale. If inclusivity is at the heart of your company events, you’ll see these results.

Expert support

If you’re arranging a company event or activity and have concerns, speak to a Croner expert for assurance and guidance on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Ben McCarthy works as a content writer for Croner producing commentary and guidance on employment law and key HR developments. Coming from an extensive legal background, Ben regularly constructs key training materials for clients and advisers, and provides daily contributions to national publications.

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