As we snowball into the festive season, talk is inevitably turning to the work Christmas party

You’ve been working hard for the whole year and let’s face it, last Christmas was a bit of a wash out! Now is the time to be thinking about how you can make this year a very special Christmas to say thank you to all your team for their hard work and resilience over the last 18 months! But many people worry about Christmas parties and making sure they appeal to all, and that things don’t get out of hand! Our latest blog talks about the benefits of having a Christmas party and some things to avoid making sure everyone has a very special Christmas!

For many bosses, the prospect of the office Christmas party is enough to send them headfirst into the Eggnog. Novelty jumper-clad staff, fuelled by a mix of alcohol and the shedding of a lot of the last 18 month’s stresses and relaxed inhibitions, can be a heady mix indeed – plus of course, the inevitable HR investigation into who photocopied their bum and posted it on the office noticeboard ….  it wasn’t me – honestly!

But before you all dash off to cancel the annual tinsel disco in fear of yet another lockdown or changes to rules about socialising, let’s not forget that a Christmas party whether that’s virtually or in person,  isn’t just about getting everyone together for a jolly.

Ultimately, it’s a thank you from management to the staff of all their hard work throughout the year, and this year has been the 2nd year in a row of challenges! Your team have endured a year of Teams or Zoom meetings, possibly working from home for a lot of the time, feeling isolated from their teammates, have had to adapt to a new way of working and now is the time to have a bit of collective fun and say thank you!  And it’s a great opportunity to really get to know each other – many people have started work this year remotely and haven’t even met their colleagues perhaps until recently, so there’s a great opportunity to give employees a chance to build a rapport with one another which can yield long-term results further down the line in a working environment.

And NOT to host a Christmas Party sends out a negative message, leaving employees feeling unappreciated. It also makes you look like a scrooge – so, pop your reindeer antlers on and get that credit card out… as there are some definite benefits to having a party…………

  • Entertaining your staff at Christmas or if this isn’t possible, buying a special gift will see them return the favour in hard work, loyalty and motivation into 2022. With the impending resignation Tsunami that’s being predicted, this could help you retain your best people too!
  • The event itself provides an excellent opportunity to reiterate and deliver key company messages, recognition awards, silly or fun awards, and share your plans for the year ahead.
  • You can incorporate fun into your event with icebreakers and teambuilding activities to strengthen team dynamics and unite the workforce – we’ve got loads of great ideas on this front, so just let us now if you need any help!
  • Believe it or not there are also tax benefits to hosting a Christmas Party! Yes, even HMRC wants you to let your hair down and have a good time!
  • Encouraging management and staff to mingle outside of a work setting boosts morale in general.

But if you worry that things may get out of hand, here are our top five top tips for keeping the Christmas party trouble-free;

  • Make sure your venue or theme of get together are inclusive and appealing to all. Why not give people a chance to vote on some ideas and go with what pleases the majority?
  • Consider your social media policy in advance – does your company even have a social media policy?? If not, it may be an idea to draft one to protect your business. Drunken or inappropriate pictures on Facebook/Instagram or LinkedIn could have a damaging impact on your brand or your staff individually. Consider whether is appropriate and create guidelines around what is acceptable in relation to posting about or on the night of the Christmas party and about your business in general – and then tell your staff. They need to know what’s acceptable/what isn’t acceptable!
  • It’s in everyone’s interests to have a fun but safe evening – even if you decide to do something virtually! One way to minimise risk is to control the alcohol you provide and lay on food. If having an in person or virtual event, you could run a free bar for a limited period only or deliver drinks to people at home. Or take it a step further and hold the event during the day instead, which enables you to shift the focus away from alcohol and make it more about team building and fun and puts a natural cap on drinking.
  • If you are having an in person event – organise end of evening transport home, with a fixed finish time – this is a quadruple win as it puts a cap on the evening, makes sure everyone is home safely and helps ensure that everyone in work at a decent time and state the next day, whilst feeling thankful for your overwhelming generosity!
  • Be clear in advance about your expectations regarding absence the next day. Encourage people to take a day off if they don’t operate well on a lack of sleep. This will ensure that there are no surprises and if expectations are breached, disciplinary action can be taken

Most importantly of all – enjoy it and have fun – we certainly deserve to make it a special Christmas this year!

If you want to discuss your plans with us to make sure you are offering an inclusive event, or you want us to take a look at your social media, socialising policies or disciplinary policies, why not book a call with us before the festivities begin? That way, you can relax and enjoy the party, feeling assured that you have everything in place that you need to. It shouldn’t take long and could help you manage any potential Christmas party headaches.

Book a call with us here.