December 9, 2014
It’s time for the annual office holiday party. This year 88 percent of companies polled will have a party, down from 96 percent and 91 percent in 2013 and 2012, respectively, but still a major component of business culture. Here’s a look at three important reasons the office holiday party is essential as well as tips for how to make yours stand out.
1. Boost Employee Morale With Gratitude and Team Building
Environmental factors and the stress of the holidays might be negatively affecting up to 20 percent of your team. Fortunately, team building and socializing are key factors in reducing stress inside of the workplace.
Your company holiday party is the perfect opportunity to decrease stress in the workplace and boost employee morale by celebrating the year’s achievements and thanking your team for their hard work. Make sure you express your thanks in a number of ways, including handwritten notes, official emails and verbal exchanges.
2. Make A Splash To Develop A Unique Company Culture
In addition to boosting morale, holiday parties also go a long way to developing your company culture, and you’d be amazed what a positive company culture can do for productivity. That’s why it’s important to skip the generic “Come for the White Elephant!” invitation and make your party something unique to your employer brand.
Black tie? Hoedown? Company-wide volunteer day? Use your holiday party to establish or distinguish your company from others by the way in which you celebrate. A special seasonal event will make your employees feel that they are a part of something special year-round.
3. Entice New Recruits With Party Invitations
Since December and January are prime recruiting months, you might be interested to know that your holiday party can also assist in your recruiting efforts. The results of the event— think photos, memorabilia and stories— will give job candidates a tangible example of what makes your company unique.
The event itself can also help with your recruiting process. It may be appropriate to invite candidates who have received a job offer to the party itself to give them a preview of your generosity and company culture.
Make Your Office Stand Out
Here’s a quick list of special touches you can include to make your party even more enjoyable:
- Organize the time and place that’s best for your employees. Twenty-five percent of companies plan to have their parties onsite, and 50 percent plan to have them at a restaurant. What’s the best answer for you? That will depend on your staff. Consider the typical working shift for your staff as well as how many of your employees commute more than an hour. Factor in these pieces of information to make sure your party is as enjoyable as possible.
- Plan food with attention to allergies and preferences. Cupcakes, cheesy chicken tapas, and alcohol? Maybe not. Many individuals have food allergies, such as gluten or dairy, or preferences, such as vegan or vegetarian, that they dread dealing with at company parties. You can make your party extra special by surveying your employees in advance and offering a few custom options. Aim to supply foods that are low on the list of common allergens, such as plain cut fruit and vegetables, to make it a party that everyone can enjoy.
- Don’t skip the entertainment. You don’t have to blow hundreds of dollars on a live band to make your office holiday party festive (though if you can, here are a few creative options). Even if you’re throwing a quick lunchtime affair, investing some time in an office-appropriate playlist and bringing in your speakers from home will go a long way to making the event more exciting.
- Deepen team-building opportunities with conversational games. Most employees who don’t enjoy office holiday parties cite awkward conversation as the main drag. If appropriate for the event you’re planning, you might consider bringing in family-friendly, social games such as Apples to Apples, Bananagrams and HeadBandz to help attendees break the ice.
- Limit the alcohol. Unfortunately, access to alcohol at company parties can lead to excessive drinking and even drunk driving. If you plan to include alcohol at your holiday party, try a ticket system or hire a bartender to monitor the bar to make sure that everyone enjoys the party equally.
Are you planning to do something new this year? Tell us about your company holiday party plans!
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