Ahhhh ’tis the season for office Christmas parties…necessary in a way but oh so difficult to pull off appropriately while still having fun and showing appreciation. Office Christmas parties are meant to give your guests (and perhaps their significant others) a nice evening out to show your appreciation for all their hard work this year. And let’s be honest: it’s kind of tacky if you don’t do something to show extra appreciation to your employees. Here’s how to throw a nice office Christmas party for your employees without getting out of hand or being boring.
What To Do: This is the trickiest task: doing something fun but simple. First, try taking the party offsite. It will be more fun for your employees to get out of the atmosphere of the office and experience something more interesting. A dinner is a simple, go-to choice for office Christmas parties, but shake up the mold by going for a theatrical performance or a sports event afterward. To make the event more formal, consider a progression dinner at various fine dining establishments throughout your city. Start somewhere for hors d’oeuvres and light drinks followed by a different main dining location and concluding with a dessert location. If you’re interested in holding the event to just one location, choose a restaurant or banquet setting (such as a hotel) with plenty of room to socialize and say a few words of thanks.
I’m a Blue, a Yellow Hat, an ISFJ. I rank high in responsibility, self-awareness, and conscientiousness. You guessed it, results from a few of the personality assessments I’ve taken in my time. Assessments aren’t for everyone, but personally I find them pretty intriguing and have experienced both personal and team advantages from the intel several have provided.
There are so many personality assessments on the market and consultants ready to share the next greatest thing. I’m definitely not bashing on consultants because I do think there is a lot of value in pairing the use of an assessment with guidance of someone that is trained to help you interpret and take advantage of what the results are telling you. However, I think assessments can offer plenty of value out right.
We are going to answer the What, When, How and Who of personality assessments! I’m not an expert but base my offerings on personal experiences.
We’ve all been there, right? Every other week, there is a card passed around, everyone mumbles the “happy birthday” song, and there is a room of people asking only for a “small” slice of cake. Once the small slice is eaten, everyone jets back to their office. While celebrating office birthdays is a great time to relax with coworkers, they can also become incredibly mundane. Though not every office decides to celebrate birthdays, it is a great way to step away for a few minutes and celebrate. If your office does decide to celebrate birthdays, there are a few things to remember that can make everyone more comfortable and bring the celebration back to birthdays.
AFA asks questions. We genuinely value curiosity and learning. Our current question is this:
Let me explain. Almost a year ago AFA launched the Leader Fellowship™ experience which partners a young person and a coach. Part of the relationship is geared toward direct mentoring and part of the relationship is geared toward direct coaching. These are very different skills, and as we have developed, we have had to think through models that serve both needs.
Mentoring tends to be directionally-based: “Do this.” It is position-led and can look a lot like good supervision. It is performance oriented, and the mentor tends to be viewed as a role model. It sounds like “Try these things to solve your problem.”
Whomp whomp whomp. Do you ever just feel like you hear that in your head when you approach the desk of a particular employee? A Debbie Downer can come in many different forms: the complainer, the constantly depressed, the sluggish and unmotivated, or the unhopeful. All of the above can be quite draining and detrimental and take a toll on workplace morale. Here are a few tips on how to engage and call that negativity to attention:
Don’t Ignore Them. Typically, office downers might have something on their mind they probably want to share but are instead letting their body language, expressions, and maybe not-so-subtle words speak for themselves. Ignoring this behavior and brushing it off only adds tension. Talk to them about what’s up. Confront it rather than letting it build and cause rifts.
How do you predict if an employee will succeed or fail in their role? If you hire the candidate with the most experience and highest GPA, they should become a star player in your organization, right?
For years people assumed that Intelligence Quotient, IQ, was the source of a person’s success. However, studies indicated that people with the highest IQs outperform those with average IQs just 20% of the time, while people with average IQs outperform those with high IQs 70% of the time. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves provides an in-depth look at this topic.
Over the course of my career, I have had the pleasure of having 2-3 older friends that happen to be Baby Boomers that have remained interested in helping me grow professionally to this date. It dawned on me in my late 20’s the level of sincerity and genuine nature of their dedication to helping me. When I realized what they were doing and the level of impact that this cross-generational mentoring was having in my personal and work life, I made a commitment to myself that I would “pay it forward” and be on the lookout to become a mentor to others. I love a couple of quotes I recently read in The Daily Walk Bible – “Life is a lot like tennis – the goal is to learn to serve better” and “The object of teaching is to enable those taught to get along without a teacher”.
Fruit cake, gift card, bonus, product, or something else…agh! What do I give? Holiday giving in the workplace can be as tough as figuring out what to get your Great Aunt June! If you are thinking about giving holiday gifts to your staff this season consider these few things.
Before you put the effort in to finding the perfect gift, double check your company handbook (or ask your superior if necessary) to make sure holiday gift giving is allowed. Then develop a consistent approach for selecting who and how much you’ll invest. Remember gifts can come in many forms, not just money. I’ll share a few ideas below!
Consistency doesn’t mean you have to give equally across all employees, but you do need logical reasoning to justify your decisions. For example, if you are providing a Christmas bonus, perhaps you base the value on % of salary or weighted based on revenue generated.
Being consistent across employees is obviously the easiest, but doesn’t always make sense. And, it could depend on what you are gifting. Just remember, you don’t want holiday gift giving to become a demotivator for the team because there is unexplainable inconsistency amongst what various team members receive.
For most people, work is an inescapable reality. People work because they have to, not necessarily because they want to. Yes, there are “dream jobs”, but most people don’t work there. Yes, there are “high paying” jobs, but a lot people don’t work there either. For everyone else who gets up early and pushes through a tough day at work for average pay, a little recognition from their boss from time-to-time can go long way.
There are so many easy ways to positively recognize employees. Many employers use formal recognition programs for employees, including recognition for years of service, bonuses for exceptional performance, employee of the month honors, etc. But there are also plenty of simple informal employee recognition methods that are actually easier to apply and maintain – starting with your attitude.
Being a black cloud at work rains on everyone’s day. Saying good morning, or simply smiling as you enter your workplace gives your employees a sense of well-being, and reinforces that they are in a safe and friendly environment. Come in with a scowl on your face and make no effort to say hello, well, you can guess how your employees feel about that.
Back in 2004, AgCareers.com developed a program to help spread the word on college campuses about the AgCareers.com website and the employment brand of many of our partnership clients. The idea was to hire college students to be AgCareers.com representatives on their campuses and give informative presentations to clubs and organizations about the website and showcase the types of internships and jobs that could be found on AgCareers.com. Over the course of 11 years, AgCareers.com employed 50 students from 63 different campuses and quickly became the industry model for campus ambassador programs. Many others in the industry have come to us for assistance in developing their own programs, which has lead us to develop this top 10 list of things to consider when developing a campus ambassador program.
1. Ambassador programs are much like internship programs; you must be committed to achieving success. Depending on the size of your ambassador class, the length of their term and the duties they have, you more than likely need to dedicate a large portion (50-80%) of someone’s plate to effectively running the program.
2. Understand that students are most likely to be reachable at night. The person on your staff who manages this program must be able to flex their time.
3. Develop some type of accountability model for your ambassadors.