It’s that time of year again but before you go searching for the punch bowl and the streamers you might want to consider throwing a new kind of office Holiday Party this year. There’s nothing like a great office Holiday Party to get staff feeling appreciated and revitalizing connections among co-workers. This is after all, your team, and it’s important that they all willingly (and enthusiastically!) work towards the same goal.
Booze & Food. Clearly by now you know that your employees are really just looking for 2 things in a office party – Free Food & Booze. If you got that down then you’re already halfway to throwing a successful party! Splurge a little and don’t just offer cheap beer and pizza. If you have a tight budget consider shopping at Costco’s or BJ’s who sell bulk quantities are startlingly low prices.
Games. If you insist on having your office party in the conference room like every other year then consider adding some games and activities to liven up the party. Employees can be asked to each bring a funny giftwrapped present under $10. Numbers are distrusted to every employee who when their turn comes up gets to pick a present to unwrap from the pile or “steal” a present from a coworker. If someone’s present is stolen then they can pick a new one or steel another but they cannot steel the same present back. Other games like Secret Santa or board games with a twist can be fun additions.
The Venue. I highly recommend that office Holiday parties are held OUTSIDE of the office. Because you’re employees already (hopefully) associate hard work, discipline and long hours to their office environment it would take a lot of decorations and effort in order to put them at ease. Instead, negotiate a 2hr happy hour at a local bar that has a pool or ping pong table. You’ll be rewarding employees while also promoting bonding among co-workers through activities. Take your team bowling or rent a soccer or football field at your local park and break your office up into teams. Nothing like a little competition to get into the Holiday spirit.
The Problem with Being the Boss…well there are several. But the major problem during Holiday Parties is that you are never able to fully relax. These people are your employees and you need to maintain an aura of authority. The same goes for your employees. No one wants (or should want) to get drunk with their boss. Consider starting off the party with a few words of acknowledgment. It’s important that you speak to every employee individually or, if you run a large office, that you at least speak with your top managers and let them know what a great job they’ve done. But, don’t make this party about you. This party is about thanking your employees for their devotion day in and day out. Cheers!
Team Building. If you have a bigger budget than consider making the party an office outing. Employees can enjoy a show, go on a group tour or enjoy fun outdoor activity. Then everyone can head over to a local restaurant or bar to finish the evening. In order to plan a successful team building activity you’ll need to consider that successful outings usually take 3-5hrs. I highly suggest you ask someone who has experience with running events to help you plan your outing as logistics for large groups can get tricky.