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Holiday Party or Bah Humbug?
The Christmas period can be a tricky time of the year for companies small and large for numerous reasons. Due to “Christmas/Holiday spirit”, employees focus and productivity can become a little lax thanks to the wind down towards the holidays. Many of the staff will likely be taking considerable time off meaning that the full month’s work will have to be completed in a much shorter period, and on top of all this a Christmas Party is expected (courtesy of the company of course).
So what is generally a more relaxed and pleasant time of year for the majority of the workforce, for managers and HR personnel overseeing the workload and making sure everything is done, just adds to the workload. Pile a Christmas party that further distracts the workforce, and on top of that budget and plan for – let’s face it – you may just be ready to yell, “BAH HUMBUG!”
However tempting it might be to sack it all off and ignore it, make sure that some form of party is on the agenda for the team. Christmas parties are a fantastic way to boost morale, enhance staff motivation and most importantly show your recognition and appreciation the hard work of the staff for the past year.
Corporate events are a fantastic way to improve working relationships, business performance and provide a great opportunity for staff to let their hair down and get to know one another outside of the office. Surprisingly though, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, only 77% of private sector companies will provide festive celebrations next month. Conversely, in the US, a survey showed that 97% of people asked had plans for a company party. This excuse to bond outside the confines of the office can lead to better relationships in the office and result in improved teamwork and happiness at work.
If you’re a smaller company, the Christmas bash doesn’t have to cost the world, it’s simply a case of managing expectations and budget. The traditional festive shindig usually involves a set meal in a restaurant with drinks afterwards, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (first round on the company mandatory).
If your offices are spread across the country, consider throwing a massive party in a large city. For example, there are venues for hire available in all sizes in cities such as New York. Additionally, there are plenty of options with central London venues for hire for your European offices, essentially the possibilities are endless. What a fantastic way to get all of the teams together, put faces to the names they constantly email and create a night to remember. This will take a lot more time, planning and organization than the smaller parties, so don’t forget to budget in transportation to and from the venue, including accommodations.
Involving the staff in the planning of the Christmas/Holiday Party, or even delegating it to a responsible team member is a great way to organize a shindig that ticks everybody’s boxes. Consider drawing up a list of options and letting everybody take a vote on what they’d like to do the most, after all the party is for them.
So that’s the Christmas/ Holiday Party under control. What about workloads? An effective way of ensuring that all of the necessary work is complete is to incentivize your staff. Consider a reward system for the employees that will help them in the lead up to Christmas and reflect on the goodwill festivities of the season. Let them leave earlier or take longer lunch breaks in order to complete their shopping so long as the work gets done. Or offer to buy the first five rounds of drinks at the Christmas party…maybe even offer an extra day off with pay, a sort of “free” holiday?
No boss wants to appear to be the Grinch over Christmas, but by allowing flexible work schedules and being clear about goals is a tried and tested way to ensure all of the work will get completed. And why not at the end of it all celebrate all of the hard work with some traditional Christmas cheer?