It’s the time of year for holiday party planning. The tough question that arises is how to make your employees enthusiastic about attending your company party? Here are some tips to help throw a better company party.
First, it’s always good to ask for your employee’s opinions and suggestions on how they’d like to celebrate the holidays. Even if your social committee doesn’t end up using any of those ideas, it’s better to have a plethora of them than not enough. If an additional day off is a possibility – consider letting your employee’s vote on whether they want a party or a day off … don’t take it personally if there are more votes for the day off. More than likely, employees would rather be with their families.
Make sure that all employees are available to attend if the party is in the office during work hours. No one should be stuck covering phones or working as a caterer while everyone else is at the party. All employees who want to go should be able to go. Remember that if people are expected to attend or if there are repercussions for not attending, be sure to let everyone know.
Though attendance should never be required for a holiday party, if you decide it is, the party should definitely be during work hours. Keep in mind that some people simply do not enjoy these types of gatherings. Making these employees feel obligated to attend the party will hurt morale. A holiday party, no matter what is being celebrated should be meant as a gift, and a morale boosting experience. Don’t penalize staff for not attending, if the party is scheduled after work hours or on the weekend. Generally speaking, the number of employees who attend an after work hours or on the weekend event is in direct correlation to the type of culture that you have developed within your organization.
For an offsite after hours party, offer to arrange a carpool or other transportation for people who are interested. Especially if your business is in the city where employees would normally take public transportation, they may not have a vehicle or easy access to transport to the party location. It is also a good idea to have other forms of transportation available for those who drink too much alcohol. Better to be safe then incur the liability.
Nowadays, door prizes are expected. Have some sort of small gift for each attendee, or give away raffle tickets upon arrival for a few big ticket items, if your budget allows.
Be very clear about the dress code for offsite parties and keep in mind that not everyone owns, or is comfortable in, formal attire. For some employees having to buy new clothing for the party may deter them from attending.
Remember that your employees should never have to pay for party expenses. If you need to charge employees to attend the party, that is definitely an indication that you need to throw a less extravagant event. Also, keep in mind that if your company has recently experienced cutbacks or layoffs, then throwing a lavish party will likely demoralize your current employees and have them questioning the culture of your organization.
For additional information on this topic, please contact New Focus HR at www.newfocushr.com.
Written by: Kristen Deutsch, M.B.A., CCP