It is time!! Time to buy those pumpkin spice lattes, turn off the A/C, get those long sleeves out and every HR professionals’ favorite… plan that Holiday Party!
Holiday parties can be fantastic, they are great for having fun together, getting to know other employees you may not work with regularly and creating a tighter team. However, we have all heard the company party nightmares, let’s avoid those!
Some suggestions for planning some Holiday Party fun:
- Consider making it a family-friendly event. Employees leave their families to go to work, the last thing most of them want to do is leave their family even more for another work function so bring the families together. More than ever employees value an employers consideration for the fact that they have lives outside of the office/shop/restaurant/store. Demonstrate that consideration and make it a family event with kids activities; face painting, photo booth, mac and cheese, hot cocoa and cotton candy (a must at every kid-friendly event). How about a candy cane and whipped cream pie in the face? Let the kiddos cram pie in the face of the managers. Employees may not want to do it, but they will certainly let their kids cram pie in the face of their boss and enjoy every second! Co-workers become moms and dads and grandparents when seen in this role. Meeting families can have a great impact relating to others. Also, it does not hurt that most will not drink too much or act inappropriately at a family event, seems like a win-win in my mind.
- How about a holiday party committee? Take the planning off your hands and provide a time and monetary budget to a team to plan an event for the company. Employees can’t complain when they plan it themselves, well they can, but we hope they will not.
- Find a local volunteer opportunity. Whether an angel tree, a coat or food drive or other volunteer opportunities, nothing says teamwork like getting out and helping others. Is there a local senior home which could use some visitors, a homeless shelter which could use some holiday lights, or an animal shelter which needs blankets? There are many opportunities to help. I promise your clients will not run screaming if the office is closed for an afternoon if you have an outgoing message or sign that you are volunteering in the community, but if you think they will, divide the team in half and take turns.
- If you will serve alcohol, issue tickets and consider a two-way reimbursement for a car service.
Whatever you do, get creative. Most staff do not want to add to their task list and make something for a potluck and most would prefer a pasta dinner with family over steak and lobster with co-workers. Remember that there are different holiday beliefs so don’t get to carried away with just one.
Let’s bring some fun back into work, appropriate fun of course!