Staff Party: Planning a Christmas Party?

Staff Party: Planning a Christmas Party?

Christmas is a time for celebrating with colleagues and can be a perfect opportunity to organise a Christmas staff party. However, many organisations have eliminated the traditional style staff party, which may have included all expenses paid meal and drinks, and opted for a more tailored approach to celebrating their team and the year of business that has been.  

Realising that the Christmas party can be a great way to connect with co-workers in a non-related work setting is important to boost morale throughout the year. The event can be an opportunity to positively influence the working environment and strengthen bonds between all departments. The party itself does not have to be exorbitantly expense. What is important is that colleagues celebrate together in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This can create an opportunity to become innovative in creating a celebratory social activity to appreciate the year that was.

There are many options to create a low-cost Christmas staff party, including:

  • –  Host a Kris Kingle party after lunch or at the end of the working day, where each employee draws a name out of a hat. Each selected name is then not shared with their colleagues until they gift the present at the event. This reduces costs for each worker and creates a sense of excitement. The amount to be spent on each present can be pre-set at a nominal cost, collectively.
  • –  Host a lucky-dip present event at the party. This involves each employee purchasing a gift and putting it into a hamper. Then each staff member selects their present from the lucky dip basket. Where there is an uneven balance of gender, people can buy a generic present such as a restaurant gift voucher or chocolate and wine hamper.
  • –  Extend the lunch time with a meal at a local restaurant, where the organisation can secure a reduced rate for a large party gathering.
  • –  Organise an in-house lunch or evening meal at the company, provided by local caterers. The food can include a buffet that will suit all preferences. This can be combined with awarding an ‘Employee of the Year’ award to the lucky recipient.
  • –  Set-up an annual Christmas Fund, where each employee contributes a small amount weekly. This can offset the expense at an already expensive time of the year, particularly for employees that have family with young children. The funds can contribute to the expense of an overnight break, which can incorporate an evening meal and activities.

Organisations can implement activities into the Christmas party to strengthen the relationships between all employees and management, through team-building events. These can include:

(1) 1.  Outdoor activities: Bowling, paint-balling, spa dates, etc.

(2) 2.  In-house activities: Charades, twister, card games, karaoke, etc.

Once the ideas have been established, putting a vote system in place, via email or a notice board, to choose the activity can empower employees in the decision making process. This may be important in getting all employees on-board to participate in the event.

Although there may be varied costs for management to organise a staff party, the result can be a happier work-place. This strategy can reinforce the work-bond for the year ahead. A happier work environment can result in increased productivity, less absenteeism and improved collaboration between all personnel.