The Dos and Don’ts of Company Events Like Picnics from an HR Perspective

by | May 22, 2024 | Uncategorized

  • Integrity HR

    Amy Newbanks Letke, SPHR, GPHR, is the Founder of Integrity HR, Inc. Amy provides workplace solutions to improve performance, reduce liability and increase profits. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and business owners achieve success.

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While summer events can be enjoyable and beneficial for team building, they must be planned with a keen eye on HR compliance to prevent any legal issues or discomfort among employees. Here are some critical dos and don’ts:


Do: Promote Inclusivity and Accessibility


  1. Do: Ensure that all activities are inclusive and accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. Choose venues that are wheelchair accessible and consider dietary restrictions when planning meals.
  2. Don’t: Avoid activities that might exclude some employees based on physical ability, religion, or other personal factors.


Do: Communicate Clearly


  1. Do: Provide clear communication about the event details, including time, location, dress code, and itinerary. Make sure employees know what to expect.
  2. Don’t: Avoid last-minute changes and ambiguity in communication, which can cause confusion and reduce participation.


Do: Establish a Code of Conduct


  1. Do: Set clear behavioral expectations for the event. A code of conduct can help prevent inappropriate behavior and ensure everyone enjoys the event.
  2. Don’t: Overlook the importance of addressing harassment, discrimination, and substance abuse. Clearly state the consequences of violating the code of conduct.


Do: Ensure Voluntary Participation


  1. Do: Make attendance voluntary. While encouraging participation is good, employees should not feel obligated to attend outside of their regular working hours.
  2. Don’t: Impose penalties or create a negative environment for those who choose not to attend.


Do: Respect Privacy and Personal Boundaries


  1. Do: Respect employees’ privacy. Avoid activities that require personal disclosures or physical closeness that might make some uncomfortable.
  2. Don’t: Force participation in activities that might be too personal or invasive.


Do: Plan for Safety


  1. Do: Have a safety plan in place. This includes first aid, emergency contacts, and clear guidelines for handling accidents or emergencies.
  2. Don’t: Ignore the potential risks. Assess the safety of all activities and provide necessary equipment and instructions.


Do: Consider Legal and Ethical Implications


  1. Do: Ensure all aspects of the event comply with local laws and company policies. This includes food safety regulations, alcohol consumption laws, and venue permits.
  2. Don’t: Overlook potential liabilities. Consult with legal advisors if necessary to cover all bases.


Do: Provide Transportation Options


  1. Do: Offer transportation options to and from the event, especially if it’s held at an off-site location. This helps ensure everyone can attend safely.
  2. Don’t: Forget to consider the commute, particularly for events held in remote locations. Ensure employees are not stranded or inconvenienced.


Do: Gather Feedback Post-Event


  1. Do: Collect feedback from employees after the event to understand what worked well and what could be improved. This helps in planning future events.
  2. Don’t: Ignore feedback. Use it constructively to enhance the quality and enjoyment of future events.


Do: Monitor Alcohol Consumption


  1. Do: If alcohol is served, have policies in place to prevent overconsumption. This can include limiting the number of drinks per person and offering plenty of non-alcoholic options.
  2. Don’t: Allow unsupervised alcohol consumption, as it can lead to inappropriate behavior and potential liabilities.


Do: Create an Inclusive Environment


  1. Do: Ensure that the event activities cater to a diverse group of employees, taking into account cultural, religious, and personal preferences.
  2. Don’t: Organize events that could alienate or offend any group of employees. For example, avoid themes that could be seen as culturally insensitive.


Do: Ensure Health and Safety Compliance


  1. Do: Follow health and safety regulations, particularly important in the current pandemic context. Provide sanitizers, ensure social distancing if required, and follow local health guidelines.
  2. Don’t: Ignore health and safety protocols. Employees’ safety should always be the top priority.


Do: Plan for All Weather Conditions


  1. Do: Have a backup plan in case of bad weather. This can include indoor options or rescheduling policies.
  2. Don’t: Be unprepared for weather changes, as this can lead to event cancellations and employee dissatisfaction.

Organizing summer picnics and events for employees can significantly enhance team spirit and provide a much-needed break from the daily grind. However, the success of these events hinges on careful planning and consideration of HR compliance issues. By promoting inclusivity, clear communication, voluntary participation, and safety, companies can ensure that their events are enjoyable and beneficial for all. Remember to gather feedback and continuously improve your event planning process to keep the enthusiasm and participation high in future events. With the right approach, summer picnics and events can become a cherished tradition that employees look forward to every year. Contact us here to discuss idea that can help make your next employee event as success.

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