Morale: Your Company’s Holiday Party
+ Holiday Party Dos & Don’ts!
Company holiday parties can definitely signify “that time of year.” You can interpret this as you see fit. For some it may mean a holiday horror story when someone got to too sloshed, but for many others it means a time for their company team to gather together and have fun. It may event seem counter-intuitive to take time away from the work at one of the busiest times of the year. Heard the term "work hard, play hard?" This might just make sense, especially if your employees might be experiencing low engagement.
Company holiday parties are a time to show appreciation and allow your team to get to know each other a little bit better. It also helps jump start the New Year on a more positive note. Company holiday parties also share a piece of your company’s culture. And, a majority of your team will prioritize your company’s holiday party before other social gatherings hosted by your company. So, you can expect a bigger crowed for more mixing and mingling.
To make your holiday parties a bit more meaningful, you can even incorporate awards or thank you cards. It’s the little the things that help create tradition which give your team something to look forward to each year. On another avenue, you can also incorporate a donation or gift drive.
Just remember, holiday parties are a time for your team to come together for an enjoyable moment of fun. It’s a way for them to connect with each other, especially others in the company that they wouldn’t normally get to mingle with day-to-day.
Holiday Party Dos & Don’ts?
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DON’T ask everyone to take a seat and then go one-by-one through the room until everyone has introduced themselves. This is a party mood killer better suited for orientations or company meetings.
DO provide low-key conversation starters that allow folks to easily chat each other up. For example, incorporate trivia questions or other games into the decor or table settings. Add a prize for whoever gets the most questions correct to motivate engagement.
DON’T encourage people to talk about work.
DO provide comfortable, open seating areas where folks can easily rest, eat, and talk, especially at the beginning of the party. Make sure these areas are located near the main action so no one feels anti-social for taking a seat.
DON’T go overboard and treat the party like a board meeting with an itinerary.
DO set up a photobooth with unique props that gesture towards company “inside” jokes. Let people take as many photos with as many people as they want; this will let outgoing employees invite more reserved people to take photos with them, which will get more people engaged.
DON’T plan activities that encourage people to get as drunk as possible. Maybe everyone loves karaoke, but suggesting that folks go to a karaoke bar after the party is a better idea than hosting karaoke at the party itself.
DO arrange for transportation for employees to get home safely, or make it easy for folks to call an Uber or cab so that they can choose to enjoy a cocktail or two, worry-free.
DO keep the variety of tastes, dietary restrictions, and comfort levels of all of your employees in mind. Remember: not everyone drinks alcohol or eats meat or has kids. Always provide entertainment and dietary alternatives so that everyone feels included.
Most importantly, DO plan your party to fit your business and your employees! Need to cut down on costs? Consider a holiday luncheon or brunch. Do most of your employees have children? Consider having the party in a venue that provides activities for kids. Work in retail or another industry that is at its busiest in December? Have the party in January. Employees are more likely to enjoy themselves at an event that fits with their lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to get creative!