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.
What To Wear: Let your guests know the attire for the party. If you are holding the party at a nice, classy establishment or attending a fine arts performance later on, you’ll want to suggest they dress up a little. If the location is more informal, let your guests know that they are fine wearing jeans and a nice shirt.
Alcoholic Beverages: Yes, it’s a holiday party. Yes, it’s nice to unwind a little. Yes, we’re all adults. But remember that as an employer, you are still responsible for your employees’ behavior and consequences following the party should you choose to serve alcohol. If alcohol is free-flowing or you are at a location with an open bar, Consider providing “drink tickets” so that your employees know that they are allowed two drinks on the company and nothing more. You certainly shouldn’t have to babysit, especially if you have a particularly large group of employees, but do try to make sure everyone enjoys themselves without causing a disruption, an embarrassment, or a dangerous situation.
Who To Invite: Certainly invite everyone on your staff, but whether or not to invite your employees’ significant others or family members to office Christmas parties is something to be considered. For one thing, this significantly racks up the company’s tab for the evening, although it’s definitely nice to show your employees you appreciate them by inviting their loved ones to enjoy the evening as well. But for another, if you are in a small setting and some of your employees are single or have gone through painful separations, be courteous and prevent any soured experiences by making the office Christmas party exclusively for employees.
Gifts: It’s fair to think that the office Christmas party is enough of a gift. But it’s still nice to show your appreciation by gifting your employees with something from your organization. Share a corporate gift that is actually functional and worthwhile (no USB chargers or koozies–this isn’t a career fair). Or treat your employees to their favorite stores or restaurants with gift cards, or tickets to an upcoming event. If nothing else, a nice bonus of cash always works.
Need guidance on how to behave at an office Christmas party? We hope not, but if that’s the case, here’s an article on AgCareers.com to check out.