Christmas Cat

Leading business minds vouch for the importance of office parties and some research suggests they can instill greater productivity in your employees. In this article, I will provide some planning tips for corporate celebrations - find out about rewarding your employees with office parties and how to go about it.

“We have always prided ourselves on throwing spectacular parties,” Virgin boss Richard Branson has said. Throwing an end-of-year Christmas party can make your staff feel appreciated and loved; in turn, this can improve their morale, well being and performance.

But planning an office Christmas party is not without its challenges. So, once you’ve hired a venue, sent the invites out and sorted all the food and drink, how do you make a party something your colleagues will relish rather than dread? Here are my thoughts.

Office politics

No workplace is without its politics. Perhaps you know of a fractious working relationship(s) that could benefit from a spot of festive cheer? A Christmas party could be the perfect place at which to foster relations between members of your team (as long as you keep the drinking to safe and fun levels). If you’re going to run some extravagant party games for the team, why not pair them up and see how they get on? The results might surprise you.

Day of the week

Party venues can be cheaper to hire mid-week, so you may opt to throw your office party on, say, a Thursday evening. This’ll save you some much-needed budget but will perhaps necessitate a friendly reminder that you expect everyone to turn up for work the next day!

Go all inclusive

You can get some good Christmas party package deals - they’re a good option if you want to leave a lot of the organising to someone else. Typically, a package deal would include things like:

  • A dedicated event manager
  • 3 course meal
  • DJ and/or other entertainment
  • A drink on arrival
  • Christmas novelties
  • Table plan with placecards
Settle on a budget per person and shop around to get the best package your money can buy you.

Can the kids come too?

Why does your Christmas party have to be a night-time, employee-only do? It doesn’t have to be. Why not do something different? Last year, we ran a family fun day and invited all our employees to bring their partners and children. It required more investment but proved a major boon for employee motivation.

Productivity and motivation

While there’s nothing at all wrong with having a good old-fashioned knees-up, consider bringing some games into the event. This can foster productivity and motivation, as well as encouraging more communication across your wider team. Here’s one I like - it’s called Beach Ball Toss and it’s a great get-to-know-each-other activity:

Group size: 5-30 people

Get a beach ball and write some questions on it - make sure you’re the only person who knows what the questions are. Stuff like:

  • What’s your favourite film?
  • How did you last meet a challenge at work?
  • What’s your favourite day of the week?
  • How do you plan your day?
The team then stands in a circle and throws the beach ball around. Whoever catches the ball introduces themselves and answers a question. Simple - and a great way to encourage discussion among your team.

By Ofer Yatziv, Sales and Marketing Manager at Better Venues