How to Throw an Engaging Office Holiday Party For Your Employees
If you run an office, the chances are good that you’ve already started planning for the end of the year. From conducting your inventory and determining equipment refresh schedules to prepping tax documents and drawing up reports, this is a busy time. And let’s not forget the office holiday party you’re supposed to throw your employees before the end of the year. Oh – you haven’t started planning that yet?
Why You Should Throw a Holiday Party
Whether you’re thinking of something elaborate or more understated, your office holiday gathering is more important than you may realize. Getting your team out from behind their desks into an environment where they can enjoy each other’s company is vital for morale. It’s an excellent opportunity to celebrate the team and individual accomplishments, to express gratitude and even have a few laughs. Now, more than ever, managers realize the importance of acknowledging their employees as people, not just workers. Those who take an interest in their team members’ hobbies and interests, and who solicit their opinions on various topics, are far more likely to enjoy higher retention rates. A holiday party brings together staff from various cultures and traditions and helps lighten the mood at a time that’s busy both personally and professionally for most Americans.
Recent headlines have given some office managers pause when planning holiday gatherings, specifically where alcohol is concerned. Sexual harassment is a genuine issue in the workplace, so companies would be wise not to create an environment in which inhibitions fly out the window. Employees can have fun without placing your company in legal jeopardy.
When Should You Throw a Holiday Party?
To reflect the diversity of your staff, you’ll want to pick a neutral date on which most if not all of your team members will be free to join the fun. Holding the event on a specific holiday -- Christmas Eve, for example – could be isolating for those employees who don’t observe the occasion. You might consider holding your event after most, or all of the end-of-year work has wrapped up, so you can celebrate the conclusion of the work and take a breather together.
Ideally, you should find time either during or immediately following work hours for your gathering, so your employees won’t have scheduling conflicts. If you hold your party during the day, you might even consider giving staff the gift of an early dismissal, so they have extra time for themselves and their families. One other thought: Schedule your software maintenance during your office party downtime. Those updates would take your system down anyway.
Ideas to Make Your Office Holiday Party Fun for Everyone
Bring food, but no pressure. Let employees decide whether they want to make something themselves or pick up a store-bought item. Serve it up potluck/buffet style. If your office is competitive, have a contest if you’d like. Who can make the best dip, chili or dessert? It’s all in the spirit of fun.
Consider unique venues and activities. More companies are thinking outside the box these days when it comes to holiday party ideas for work, holding their holiday celebrations at such spots as escape rooms, bowling alleys and skating rinks, or even participating in a volunteer activity together.
Make a judgment call on alcohol. This decision is dependent upon your office culture. You may wish to serve alcohol with limits in place – say, by giving each employee one or two drink tickets. Some offices place no restrictions on alcohol consumption, while others avoid it altogether. If you’re in the no-limits category, take some preliminary precautions, and store your expensive or otherwise fragile assets elsewhere if your event is on company premises.
Stay on the clock. The office holiday party is about expressing your gratitude for a job well done. So, by all means, if your party is during regular business hours, don’t ask your employees to clock out for a party you’ve invited them to attend.
Reduce stress. Employees often feel stressed at this time of year, as there’s pressure to complete several tasks by year end. One of the best gifts you can provide your staff is the convenience and reliability of an asset tracking platform that saves time, money and frustration. With a good asset tracking system, employees no longer have to spin their wheels hunting down assets. Because an asset tracking system can help you stay on schedule with maintenance, productivity no longer comes to a halt due to malfunctioning equipment. Employees have 24/7 access to real-time asset data, enabling them to make informed decisions, plan budgets and supply accounting and compliance teams with the figures they need, among many other benefits.
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