Igniyte MD Roz Sheldon talks to The Times about how companies can best manage potentially problematic office Christmas parties.

As an expert in reputation management, Roz is well placed to suggest the steps businesses should take to protect the reputation of the business and its employees.

Igniyte’s own research of 500 officer workers shows that, while 30% of employers have policies in place regarding sharing photos from parties, boundaries are regularly crossed when alcohol is involved.

One in five people, reported The Times, say that their own actions at office parties have gone on to damage their personal reputation.

The Times asked Roz Sheldon for her expert advice on how organisations can combat the problem of reputational damage sustained at the annual Christmas party.

Roz advises companies to hire a professional photographer and encourage employees to leave their mobile phones at home. Roz said: “Bosses should be sending clear advisory communications on expected professional behaviour when under the influence.”

This guidance should cover reminders on sexual inappropriateness or aggressive behaviour. Roz also said: “Staff at large companies should be told not to upload any of their own pictures taken at a work Christmas party to social media accounts.”

Further advice includes refraining from filming at the Christmas party to avoid any damaging behaviour being uploaded for public consumption.

While this could be considered draconian by employees, Roz explained that this can actually stop them from making the kind of mistake that could potentially impact their future career. She said: “Mistakes can also impact their company as a whole.”

The Times reported on Igniyte’s survey of office workers, explaining that 10% of respondents say that they personally know someone who has been sacked or otherwise disciplined at work following their conduct at the Christmas party.

More than a third of respondents said that they had flirted or kissed a colleague, while just over 10% had been either banned from the venue or had a complaint against them due to misconduct.

To read the full article, head to The Times website and read Leave the phones at home to avoid embarrassing pictures from Christmas office parties.

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