Did you know that Halloween is the second largest commercial holiday next to Christmas? It's a great time for adults to channel their inner kid, and for kids, to be… well—kids! Halloween can be lots of fun for employees, managers and business owners, but in order to make sure it's a fun time for everyone, you need to plan, plan, plan and then communicate, communicate, communicate.
The first step to enjoying a memorable Halloween is to have your human resources department plan the festivities. If you don't have an HR department, designate someone to head up the planning committee. If you manage a small company, one or two people may be able to plan the perfect party, but larger companies can make a group planning go off without a hitch. Time on the clock ensures you don't infringe upon personal time: Arrange a luncheon plan with catered pizza or other employee favorites that may include pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte, sub sandwiches, or even a potluck lunch could be exciting.
Important things to discuss are costumes dress code, appropriate costumes that do not make political statements or religious statements, or those that don't embrace weapons as a part of the ensemble. Alcohol is another subject that needs to be addressed and if your HR department has specified a no-alcohol work environment in your employee handbook, then you need to stick to the rules unless you plan an after-hour party at a remote location. All in all, you are trying to ensure the following by reminding employees of the above-mentioned subjects:
• Sexual Harassment: No provocative costumes: stick to the company's dress code
• Hostile Work Environment: This is not a time to make political, religious or anti-weapons statements by wearing an inappropriate costume
• Alcohol Related Problems: If during work hours, you don't want your employees driving home under the influence, and face it—some people just can't handle drinking
• Physical Safety: Alcohol + pumpkin carving=emergency room visit.
After you have your carefully laid out plans drafted, be sure to communicate to the entire company what they are via a company-wide memo or newsletter. Also, remind employees that celebrating Halloween at work is entirely voluntary, and there is no pressure for anyone to participate if they do not wish to. It's times such as this when an employee handbook is of great value. If you do not have a section for holiday dress codes, have your Human Resources department add it to your employee handbook.
If you do not have an HR department, choose a local Human Resources company that outsources all HR services such as Stellaris Group in Roswell, Georgia. Stellaris Group on W. Crossville Road in Roswell offers employee handbook creation along with policies and procedures and an entire list of HR services are at your disposal. They can even help you with proper Halloween protocol if you wish so things won't get too scary at your next Halloween shindig.