Workplace Christmas parties are a time honoured tradition and the perfect chance to reward your employees for all their hard work during the year. A well planned Christmas function can inject a healthy dose of morale into your team, helping to boost productivity and staff retention into the new year.
However, planning a Corporate Christmas party can be a logistical (and not to mention HR) nightmare, so we’ve put together the top 7 tips for ensuring everyone in your company enjoys the festivities:
This may seem an obvious task, but choosing a date is perhaps the most important element of throwing a successful Christmas function. Don’t leave it to the last minute only to find all of the Christmas function venues around you are booked, or 80% of your staff already have other plans. To ensure a healthy turnout, poll your staff in October to find out which date works for the majority.
The type of function you choose will largely depend on your budget and number of people attending. Your choices may range from dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a pub crawl, to fully packaged Christmas Parties at a dedicated function room. If you want to capture the popular vote, circulate an email with 3 different options to your staff and ask them for their preference.
No matter how organised you think you are, there’s always someone out there who’s more prepared. Once you’ve nailed down your date and function type, be sure to book your function venue asap to avoid missing out on the popular vote from your team. It’s always worth asking if you can book for minimum numbers and add guests later on to avoid costly ‘no-shows’.
If you’re concerned about the sales team blowing your bar tab on Jager bombs within the first hour, you might want to consider giving your team member a set amount of drinks vouchers to ensure everyone gets their fair share. Alternatively you can limit the type of alcoholic drinks available to beer and wine to keep your costs down.
Christmas party speeches and awards are a great way of giving recognition to outstanding performers in your team, and thanking the larger group as a whole. Just remember to keep them short and sweet to avoid losing everyone’s attention (no one wants to hear about your record EBITA results when there’s free alcohol involved).
Many a work Christmas party has been ruined by one of more people enjoying themselves a little too much. Remind your staff prior to the event that this is a workplace function and they need to be on somewhat close to their best behaviour. If you notice things are getting out of hand, move quickly to pause the bar tab or send individuals home if they’ve had enough festive cheer for the night.
Once you’ve enjoyed your best workplace Christmas party ever, the only way to top it next year is to ask your team for feedback. Remember, these functions are great for employee morale and ultimately staff retention so it’s not too much of a stretch to consider your Christmas party as a HR exercise as much as a compulsory celebration.