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Inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party? What to do next…

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Despite the continued covid chaos, many office parties went ahead in December in person. How did they go?

Are you breathing a sigh of relief that they passed without incident? Or are you coming back to work knowing there are some difficult conversations to be had with people who overstepped the mark?

Given that many celebrations didn’t happen last year and events over 2021 may have been curbed, any “letting off steam” or over exuberance at socialising with colleagues again, may have easily got out of hand.

If you are dealing with an incident of inappropriate behaviour and possible complaints or grievances as a result, there will be internal investigations or disciplinary processes to follow.

But often the behaviour is not so extreme in these instances as to warrant dismissal… Rather, it is a case of poor judgment clouded by alcohol that needs a different outcome; there will be sanctions for sure, but if the result is to keep the employee, it is vital they understand the impact of what they have done and are able to make changes and put things in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. There may also be relationships to rebuild with colleagues. This not always easy for the person to do without support.

Our risk to reward coaching can help through tailored, focussed one to one sessions that are specifically designed to address situations where behaviour has crossed the line.

One to one sessions are the only way to create real change. Sending the person on a group workshop with other delegates or getting them to complete some eLearning will tick a box, but is unlikely to change behaviour… people can “hide” in those situations and excuse their own behaviour (“that isn’t really me”).

With tailored one to one coaching they have to confront their behaviour. We do this in a supportive and sensitive way – but we also don’t let them off the hook. We are very clear what we are there to work with them on.

Many “perpetrators” in these situations are actually mortified by their behaviour and if the support is provided in the right way, they are often really appreciative that their organisation has given them such an opportunity.

Many coachees also tell us they got far more out of the process than they had imagined they would.

So if the Christmas party has left you with inappropriate behaviour to sort out, talk to us about how we may be able to help.

For more information on how Focal Point can help to address inappropriate behaviour in the workplace please call us on 01903 732 782, email us at, contact us, or take a look at how we have helped other organisations tackle behaviour which crosses the line.