Kristi Sinclair - HR Professional
With everything that has happened during 2020 it is understandable that Christmas may not be your number one priority. Christmas isn’t just about planning the company end of year party – there are a number of considerations businesses need to look at as the calendar year draws to a close and we’ve got a quick overview of all things people-related that should be on your radar now.
No matter how you slice it, Christmas parties will look very different this year, particularly in Melbourne If you are wavering between should you or shouldn’t you put on a Christmas do for you team, we come down on the side of if it is an affordable cost that your business can carry, we highly recommend it. Covid19 has isolated us in many ways, so bringing everyone together in a safe manner will help reengage that sense of collaboration and end the year on a positive note as well as set up a positive mindset for 2021. Alternatively, another idea is to replace the end of year celebration with a welcome 2021 party, to get the year started in an optimistic and auspicious way. Regardless, you will need to follow state restrictions and directions.
If your business can not afford a function this year, your people will understand; but make sure you tell them so that they don’t feel ignored or forgotten about. A simple, honest message about affordability will undoubtedly make sense to your team and they will appreciate that you have been open about what they can expect this year.
When considering venues and locations for your function, this year an outside daytime BBQ might work better for you and your team and will also likely reflect COVID safe directions. Whilst it might not be your preferred option. you may also want to consider splitting up events, so each department has its own smaller function to keep within number limits for gatherings. If you usually like to have games or activities, think about what you can do at a distance without touch or just put them on hold this year. This year we’re pretty sure people will enjoy the time together more than anything else anyway!
Play it safe. Follow your state Covid19 rules regarding social distancing and number limits for gatherings. Ensure your employees are wearing a mask when required and make sure you have hand sanitiser available so you can keep on top of the required hygiene practices – just because you are partying, it’s not the time to let your guard down
Regardless of what you decide, we recommend that you appoint some Covid19 safe officers in charge of ensuring everyone follows the rules. It’s important that those appointed limit their alcohol intake and focus on ensuring everyone stays safe, while trying hard not to be the party police! One to every ten-fifteen people is probably a safe number.
If you are trading over the Christmas period, make sure you are across restrictions and penalty rates that apply before making the decision to open the gazetted public holidays. Public holidays for the 2020 Christmas period are as follows
Christmas Day – Friday 25th December
Boxing Day – Saturday 26th December
Boxing Day observed – Monday 28th December
New Year’s Day – Friday 1st January
Australia Day – Tuesday 26th January
If you are a business that trades over public holidays, such as those in retail and hospitality, the earlier you make decisions regarding public holidays, the more notice you can give your employees. This year we are sure people will be eager and keen to maximise their income and work public holidays – make sure you share the opportunities around in a fair manner, so everyone gets a festive season break, and everyone benefits from the higher rates of pay.
An effective way to ensure adequate coverage over these days is to ask employees which days they would like to work. This gives them a sense of ownership and they are more likely to commit to working these days if they choose.
Workforce Plan for the New Year
Finally, do not wait until it’s too late to start recruiting. February is an excellent time to recruit new talent and HR Staff n’ Stuff can support you in this area.
Are there new projects beginning in the new year? Will there be a backlog of work from lockdown that will see your business increase in productivity in the new year? You may need to think about recruiting now. Although the recruitment process may only take a few weeks, don’t forget candidates will need to give notice too. The turn around from first advertising to the person starting is an average of two months, and sometimes more depending on the industry. While unemployment rates indicate it may be quicker to fill roles than usual, good quality candidates are always harder to find and then secure. Why not get ahead of the bunch and start planning for the roles you will be looking to recruit now, even if the start date is for the new year.
Remember, Christmas is the time of year for family, friends, loved ones and celebration, and it is even more important given the year we’ve all experienced. If you need assistance with any people planning now that will make things less stressful as 2020 wraps up and we move into 2021, contact us as we’re always here to help!
The HR Staff n' Stuff team all contribute to our blogs. Enjoy the read!