It’s that time of year again – time to begin planning for your office Christmas party. After all, it’s only a few months off and it won’t be long before the Christmas ads start popping. If the mere thought of this annual party puts you in a foul mood, you aren’t alone. We’ve all experienced the bad parties—maybe someone drank too much and told off the boss, or perhaps some employees showed their dissatisfaction by declining to attend.
But before you nix the annual tradition, consider the value of company culture. Showing employees that you care and demonstrating that some things are more important than money is a guaranteed morale booster.
Still don’t like the idea of an office Xmas party?
Let’s examine some facts…
Employee Engagement Is at an All-time Low
According to the Carnegie Management Group, only 25% of Australian workers in a recent survey said they were engaged at work. An equal number described themselves as “actively disengaged,” and the remaining
50% said they were “just doing enough to stay out of trouble.”
With the global economy rebounding and an August 2017 unemployment rate at just 5.6% (capping a 10-month streak of job growth), low morale and disengagement usually mean low retention, and that’s a problem for Australian businesses. As the Society for Human Resource Management notes, the average cost to replace an employee who leaves is $4,129. That hurts your profitability, and your business.
True, an office Christmas party isn’t going to reengage your employees or boost morale overnight—that’s a year-long endeavor—but it can’t hurt.
When you throw an office party your goals should be as follows:
- Show your employees that you appreciate them
- Help your employees get to know one another (and you) outside of the office
- Start the new year on a positive note
The trick is to make the most of the annual event.
That said, here are 5 tips to build morale, boost engagement and showcase company culture with your office Christmas party:
- Reward your top workers: Christmas is a time of gift-giving. Take that cue to reward your star performers, perhaps with a gift card to a local restaurant. Be sure to mention the achievements that earned them the reward.
- Help a local charity: Christmas is also a time to help the less fortunate. Demonstrate that your company has a heart by picking a local charity and encouraging employees to make donations. You can also host a CSR-based teambuilding event that builds teamwork and encourages philanthropy. As the old saying goes, it’s better to give than receive.
- Invite family members: inviting significant others gives employees a window into their coworkers’ lives they otherwise wouldn’t know. It also reminds people that the office is a part of their extended family, and demonstrates that you care about your employees’ lives beyond the office.
- Build in some icebreakers: parties don’t “start themselves.” Get things off on the right foot with some clever ice breakers. For example, you could have a scavenger hunt with teams searching for Christmas related items, or build trivia questions into your décor or table settings.
- Speech! Maybe you don’t like public speaking (most people don’t), but this isn’t the time to be shy. The gang wants to hear from YOU. They want to know that you value their contribution and that you view them as critically important to the company’s success. They want to know that you, in a word, care.
The fact is, if you decide to skip the annual festivities, you’ll negatively impact the morale and atmosphere of your business. Opting out of an office Christmas party altogether is far worse than throwing a lame gathering. So throw a party and make it great! Or, find a substitution that’s even better. Whether that’s an extra day off or a special teambuilding trip is entirely up to you. Remember, showing you care and putting your employees first is the best way to boost happiness and productivity around the office.
Maybe you think office Christmas parties are lame, or that they’ll fall flat, or that your employees don’t care for them. That’s a mistake. An annual party won’t solve all of your employee problems, but it can go a long way to demonstrating the human side of your business, and show the people who work for you that you value them.
To learn more about how Unique Team Building experiences will help develop your business while rewarding your team, contact us today.