A holiday that many look forward to every year, Halloween gives children and adults alike an opportunity to kick back and enjoy dressing up and have a good time. In the workplace, many organizations allow their employees to participate in the holiday, granting exceptions to existing policies pertaining to attire and appearance. When it comes to costumes and dressing up in the workplace, it is important to find a balance between allowing your employees to enjoy themselves and have a good time, while maintaining company standards. Here are a few guidelines to help you find that balance:

  • Communicate Expectations — One of the most important things to remember when making allowances to an existing policy is to clearly communicate what is and is not acceptable. Remind employees that even though they are permitted to have a bit of fun, they are still at work and need to behave and present themselves in a professional manner, particularly if they interact with customers, clients, or the public at large.
  • Be Consistent — Make certain that the expectations that you communicate with your employees are consistent and gender neutral. Present standards in a way that is not discriminatory towards one gender. Suggestive dress applies to low cut costumes that bare a tad too much skin as well as to wearing a speedo as part of a superhero costume.
  • Be Prepared to Discipline Inappropriate Behavior — At the end of the day, a policy violation is a policy violation. To ensure that violations of the amended policy for Halloween do not occur, make certain to alert employees of the consequences for an infraction. Managers need to lead by example and should both dress appropriately and be consistent and fair in disciplining employees if they dress in a manner that is not workplace appropriate.
  • Consider Alternatives — If wardrobe-related violations are a common occurrence within your organization, consider some alternatives to allowing your employees to dress up on Halloween. Alternatives can include having children of employees come into the office for trick-or-treating, a company luncheon or potluck, or a costume party after business hours.

Halloween in the workplace doesn’t have to be a nightmare. There are plenty of ways to find that happy medium between keeping employees engaged and having fun and remembering that you are still operating a business. Join us next week as we discuss ways to further celebrate Halloween at work and how to keep the festivities enjoyable and safe.