Are you planning a holiday party for employees at your small business this year? Last year a whopping 96 percent of companies held holiday parties, according to a just-released survey—nearly an all-time high.
Even if you haven’t held a holiday party for the past several years due to budget cuts or other financial concerns, there are several reasons you might want to restart the tradition this year.
- To boost morale: This is the most popular motivation for company holiday parties, according to the survey.
- To celebrate a good year: If your business did well this year, why not thank the people responsible—your employees—with a party?
- To project optimism for the coming year: Even if you’re not actually feeling that optimistic about 2015, canceling the holiday party can send the wrong message to employees and customers, while carrying on with the carryings-on conveys confidence in your business’s future.
Here are some ideas for a holiday party that’s fun and memorable for everyone.
- Make a splash with a company party outside the office. Sure, a potluck party at work saves money, but let’s face it: It’s kind of boring. A festive dinner at a local hotel or restaurant, on the other hand, gets everyone in the holiday spirit and makes them feel like you’re treating them. (If you really need to budget, you can keep costs down by hosting a luncheon instead, or holding a cocktail party with hors d’oeuvres and beverages instead of a sit-down meal.)
- Include significant others. If you don’t have many other staff events during the year, allowing employees to bring their spouses or significant others to the party helps build bonds. Plus, involving employees’ families in the celebration helps them feel more invested in the business.
- Plan activities. A holiday party can quickly devolve into everyone chatting in their same little cliques. To get your staff mingling, include some creative events like a dance contest or limbo, Secret Santa gifting or White Elephant exchange. The goal: Get everyone laughing!
- Speak your piece. As the business owner, be sure you take some time to acknowledge your staff not just by funding the party, but also by taking the microphone to thank everyone for their hard work, acting as master of ceremonies for the activities, or handing out awards—either silly or serious—to employees.