Sue Cockayne: There will be no Christmas Party grinches this year

Are you thinking of having a virtual Christmas Party this year?

Are you thinking of having a virtual Christmas Party this year? - Credit:

East Devon HR’s Sue Cockayne writes a monthly column about business and employment.

East Devon HR's Sue Cockayne. Sue is an HR professional with 30 years’ experience across a range of

East Devon HR's Sue Cockayne. Sue is an HR professional with 30 years’ experience across a range of sectors from charity to education and agriculture to hospitality. As a generalist she enjoys the variety of challenges that HR and organisational development presents; she likes to focus on people and find solutions that treat people well. - Credit: East Devon HR

Christmas time is one of the focal points of the year – there’s usually lots of anticipation, excitement and fun – people seem to be trying harder than ever to make this year a joyful time. 

I see lots of Christmas decorations going up early this year; many are rushing to get into the spirit of Christmas and bring some joy to the end of 2020. 

How is that impacting on you and your people – are you working harder than ever to make up for lost time? 

Are you trying to get tasks finished before the year ends; sort out your planning for next year; check your budgets and tightening purse strings when you discover there’s not as much in the bank as you had hoped – on both a personal and professional level. 

This year as well as the joyful efforts we are making, there are bound to be those who are worried about the coming months; so, thinking and supporting those people is important. 

What to say about Christmas – HR are sometimes the Christmas Party grinches– reminding you to take care about drinking, don’t go kissing anyone under the mistletoe and generally letting you know you have to behave yourself – not this year– no grinches allowed! 

Most Read

Instead – let’s see if we can come up with a festive 12 HR days of Christmas – a mixture of fun, a few predictions and a bit of advice 

So, on the first day of Christmas, my true love bought to me…. 

Thinking about having a virtual staff party? Lost for some ideas for games, how about – guess the chocolate bar?

How many can you get right? 

Fancy a festive tipple – how about the Woodlands Hotel Facebook page where you can watch Dan Cozens rustle up a Christmas Cosmopolitan.

Christmas time isn’t joyful for everyone and we need to look out for each other and for those who may find it a difficult time of the year. Mind have some good advice and resources 

Enjoy making your own Christmas presents – Macmillan Cancer Support have a brilliant and fun “12 crafts of Christmas” – have a look and get creative 

From January 1, 2021, the UK officially exits the EU and as an employer, if you want to employ people from outside the UK, either now or in the future, you will need to take action. Lots of advice and information can be found at 

Get out and about for a Christmas walk – just a short time walking in nature can improve your physical and mental wellbeing – there are so many beautiful places in East Devon – discover a quiet spot to heal your soul. 

The employee lifecycle describes all those processes that guide your employees around your business. 

From attracting the right people to bringing them onboard, developing them and encouraging great performance to sometimes saying goodbye. 

How does your employee lifecycle look – does it need a refresh and change as a result of the challenges in 2020 – think about how you can improve your employee’s experience with your business 

The current furlough scheme ends in March 2021 – planning now for how you are going to manage your people resources will help to understand what you need to do in 2021. 

Worried about employees who are going to be on their own over Christmas? John and Kirsty Hammond with be opening the wonderful Dairy Shop in Sidmouth between 12.30 and 2.30 for a coffee, mince pie and chat. 

For those that like to attend a Christmas service, Sidmouth Parish Church will be having services at 8am and 10am, as are many local churches around East Devon. 

Another party guessing game – how many calories in your biscuit – cruel to be kind – you’ll appreciate this in January. 

Lastly and most importantly – have a safe, healthy and joyful Christmas time with those you love from all at East Devon HR.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter