It may seem way too early to think about planning a company holiday party (or to think about the holiday season in general) but we promise, there are many good reasons for being on the forefront (view them here). When looking to make savings towards the end of the year or when planning cuts at the beginning of the year, the office holiday party is often one of the first items to go from the budget. While this may seem practical, it is actually rather shortsighted and wrongheaded because a company holiday party is an important strategic initiative and can be a savings grace when it comes to employee engagement, job satisfaction and business productivity. Don’t compromise workplace motivation and your employees’ happiness by cutting the perks they look forward to! There are many practical ways to plan a great event that won’t break the budget.
Here are our top 5 strategic reasons why an organization should consider hosting a company holiday party.
# 1: Build employee engagement and satisfaction
Events are an important vehicle for driving employee engagement, and employee engagement is crucial to job satisfaction and subsequently overall business success. Surprisingly, engaged employees are not the norm these days. According to Gallup journal, the ratio of unengaged to engaged employees is 2-1. Unbelievable! Unengaged employees drain companies of productivity and profitability, while engaged employees thrive in the workplace, drive business growth and deliver results. A Towers Watson study of 50 companies over a one-year period found that organizations with high employee engagement had a 19 percent increase in operating income and nearly 28 percent growth in earnings per share (EPS). Conversely, companies with low levels of engagement saw operating income drop more than 32 percent and EPS decline 11 percent. So, make your office party a part of your business strategy. You never know, it might reignite a fire in your team’s belly and be their impetus for tackling the next big deal.
Source: Dale Carnegie
#2: A holiday party is the perfect networking opportunity.
Hosting a holiday party is a great way for coworkers to make connections that they may not have otherwise made. Whether it’s with the incoming CEO or another employee they have been e-mailing for months but have never actually met face-to-face, this is a great time to make introductions, break down silos and build long-term connections that result in a more cohesive and unified in-office team. It’s an opportunity to bring the company together in one place to celebrate, establish in-person relationships, and build a more collaborative and productive team.
#3: Host a holiday party to build company culture.
The culture of a company matters. A LOT. People want to work for great organizations that stand for something, foster a positive work environment and have a fun, dynamic corporate culture. Events are a great way to define and showcase your company culture. The style and level of enjoyment at your holiday office party is a key indicator, both internally and externally, of your corporate culture. Hosting an amazing party your employees look forward to every year is a great way to foster a brag-worthy corporate culture. To potential new hires, the company holiday party is a job perk they are sure to hear about from other employees (your HR team knows how valuable this word of mouth promotion is). Choosing a great venue, food, and music, and creating a lively atmosphere will make for an experience your employees will love to talk about inside and outside of the office.
#4: Host a holiday party to build valuable company memories and give thanks.
A company holiday party is a great way to bring your employees together to celebrate their successes of the past year, and leave the stress of work at their desks. Throughout the year, every employee has successes and failures, and we have no better advice for wrapping up the year on a positive note than to host an unforgettable party that rewards employee performance in a meaningful and memorable way. It is a great opportunity to show your gratitude and say thanks to your employees, key partners and suppliers for the year’s successes, for hitting or surpassing sales targets, or for being a party of key company milestones. This can be as elaborate as an awards ceremony or as meaningful as a shout out during the CEO’s year end speech.
#5: Throw a holiday party to celebrate families and loved ones.
Is your office is full of dedicated, hard working employees, who work long hours and give their all for the company? If so, it is likely their significant others, spouses and families have been feeling that consequences of that. Families influence companies in a meaningful way by providing the support network necessary for employees to focus on the demands of work. A Statistics Canada report showed that the average number of hours spent with family in a typical workday has dramatically decreased in the past three decades. Most people spend more time with their colleagues on a daily basis than they do with their loved ones. For this reason alone, families, spouses and kids deserve to be celebrated at the end of the year. A fun and memorable office party will put your company in their favour and also give them an opportunity to put faces to the names they hear about. The trick to hitting it out of the park with families is to meticulously design your holiday party to have fun activities that suit everyone, but more importantly, to create opportunities for Presidents, Managers and Directors to personally thank families for their support.
Let’s be honest, a company holiday party is most impactful when it is flawless, and part of planning a flawless event is making sure it fits your audience. To meet your strategic objectives, it’s not enough to simply plan any party. It has to be meticulously tailored to suit the tastes and preferences of your company culture, employees and partners (as diverse as that audience may be). Carefully selected food, décor, activities, gifts and entertainment will lead to a successful event and make you look like a planning pro in front of your boss and colleagues. We can’t say this enough – to get things right, it is really important to plan ahead! So get started planning your company holiday now.