Each holiday season, companies everywhere begin their annual office parties. Holiday celebrations can be a great way to raise employee morale, build team spirit, and reward employees for a job well done–when they are managed well.

Any company holiday party should be planned and supervised by your HR and management team. This is so your holiday joy doesn’t end up turning into “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, due to overindulgent employees, drunk driving, office flings, or other undesirable employee behavior. To get your holiday party off to a great start, let’s go over some quick and dirty HR tips.

5 Tips for Making Sure Your Company Holiday Party Goes Well

Tip 1 – Plan your party off company property with a reputable vendor. Employees do not want to stand around the workplace awkwardly discussing the weather, nor do you want to assume liability for damage to your company property or injury to an employee. Instead, work with a local event space where you can hold your holiday party safely, and let others do the cleanup.

Tip 2 – Provide food, entertainment, and activities.The best holiday parties include good, clean fun. Make sure you have a nice spread of food on hand, a local entertainment act, and some fun games that allow employees to engage with each other. Give out employee recognition awards and door prizes.This will make your party fun and memorable for all.

Tip 3 – Limit the alcohol availability. While you cannot reasonably expect employees to attend the holiday party without some expectation of alcoholic beverages, you can put a limit on how much is too much. Give each employee two tickets for a drink (one for them and one for a guest), and then have a cash bar on site with high priced drinks.

Tip 4 – Have transportation assistance on call. Despite your best efforts to limit the drinking, inevitably someone almost always has a little too much or ends up getting sick. Make sure you have a local cab service available to get employees safely home at the end of the party.

Tip 5 – Get hotel rooms for out-of-town employees. Your holiday party can be improved and you can make sure all employees can participate by offering low cost hotel accommodations at a group rate. This can also make it easier for those traveling with kids or spouses.

As an HR practitioner, it’s up to you to help your employees feel special during the holiday season. After all, without them, your business would not be doing so well this time of year.

The HR Writer would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a bright 2013 ahead!