It’s that time of the year again! As the Christmas season fast approaches, it’s time to start planning some Christmas celebrations for the office.
Traditionally, the Christmas office party has a bit of a bad reputation. Unpleasant food, awkward conversation and that one colleague who drinks too much and causes a scene. In an ideal world, office parties should be a chance for the business to say thank you to their employees by offering a celebration most of them will actually enjoy. Here are some ideas for how you can make that happen….
Money no object?
If 2016 has been good to you and your company, why not say thank you by celebrating in style? Obviously, it depends on what kind of people you employ (and – to a lesser extent – where they are based), but you can’t go far wrong with a fancy meal and an open bar. For many employees, a posh Christmas do is the perfect opportunity to dress up, impress their other halves and feel like they’ve chosen a great place to work. Go all in and make it black tie, and they’ll still be talking about it this time next year. If you can afford to cover the cost of transport for guests, do. Or, better still, hire a venue with accommodation and let your employees decide on the curfew.
There are plenty of companies out there that are designed specifically to help you organise a Christmas party to remember – but just remember that they’ll be taking a cut of your budget as well. If at all possible, give the job of organising to someone who already works for you – just make sure it’s someone you can trust, and who has the capacity to make it all come together in time.
Tightening your belt?
When you’re feeling flush, everything is that little bit easier to make happen. And the opposite is true when you’re feeling a bit short of cash. At Christmas time, it’s important to make your staff feel valued and appreciated, but fortunately that doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money doing it.
Probably the cheapest and easiest Christmas party to organise, with the highest chance of actually being enjoyed by the attendees, is some kind of pot-luck meal or drinks event. If you can afford to give your employees the afternoon off, invite them all to a late lunch, ask them politely to bring something to share (you can explain that budgets are tight if you feel it’s appropriate!), and spend any money you do have on treats – like alcohol, chocolate or other treats. You can also ask your employees to help with decorations for the office, and organising a Christmas playlist to get everyone in the mood.
Only a few of you?
If you want to organise a memorable Christmas bash for your team, but are worried that a party of five won’t be something worth writing home about, you have one of two options. The most straightforward plan is to take advantage of your small numbers and organise an intimate dinner party rather than a ‘drinks and mingle’ style event. If you feel it’s appropriate, you could even invite your employees to your home for the party, and either cook for them yourself, or get caterers in. However, if you definitely want there to be dancing, your other option is to find a venue that offers parties for other companies in the same position as you. This can be extra fun because it means, although your employees might all start the evening by only talking with each, they almost certainly will have made some new friends – or even contacts! – by the end of the night.
Too busy to party?
We know the feeling! Sometimes, Christmas just feels like the worst time to try and organise a party. Everyone’s calendars get booked up months in advance, and – depending on what kind of business you have – it can get ridiculously busy in the office. The obvious solution? Hold your Christmas party in the New Year. Just think, you’ll have shifted all that workload, you won’t be feeling as stressed out and you might actually feel like celebrating during the social void that is often January! And what’s so, the same is probably true for your employees.
- If you do go down this route, make sure to check your employees are okay with it. You wouldn’t want a Christmas mutiny on your hands, from an office full of staff who feel like you’ve just forgotten about them!
Good luck organising your office Christmas party. Remember, the sooner you get it sorted out, the higher the chances of its success – so better get going!