work Christmas party

Organising a kick-ass work Christmas party

Although it’s important to engage your staff with incentive events and schemes throughout the year, it’s arguably even more important during the winter months.

The darker mornings, shorter days and colder evenings are likely to make your employees feel a tad more lethargic and unmotivated.

Read more about mental health in the workplace here.

Luckily, we have Christmas to help tide us through the cold and dark days! Make the most of the season to keep staff feeling positive and maintain employee engagement. One of the best ways to tap into the festive spirit - throwing a kick-ass work Christmas party. Make the most of the opportunity by gathering everyone in one place, deliver any messages of thanks and recognition, and build a closer work community.

Sure, organising a work Christmas party can be stressful and often expensive. However, this expense can and should be seen as an investment, offering a number of valuable benefits for both you and your employees.

Let’s take a closer look at just a few of those:

Christmas parties can boost staff retention

Taking the time to celebrate the hard work your employees have done throughout the year goes a long way in making them feel appreciated. Whether you throw a grand affair or a small gathering, the very gesture of recognition for everyone’s contribution will have a positive effect on staff morale. It’s a well known fact that employees that feel appreciated are much less likely to leave. Studies have shown that companies with employee recognition schemes and events have a 31% lower voluntary turnover.

They can inspire better performances in the year ahead

Combine your work Christmas party with an awards night to inspire and incentivise employees to achieve even more in the coming year. The end of the year is a great time to reward high performers. It’s also more cost-effective to combine an awards event with your Christmas party and help ensure that your employees start the new year on a happy note. According to a survey by the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, employees who report being happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days.

They can help to strengthen bonds with colleagues

Workers are now placing much greater value on company culture than ever before, and social events can go a long way in creating a more positive workplace culture. If you’re keen to strengthen team dynamics within your company, an end of year celebration can help your employees forge connections with their co-workers. This may be their one chance to mingle with colleagues in a social setting. It can also be a great way for new employees to feel more integrated within the team and build a sense of community.

Let’s face it though, office parties can be a bit hit and miss. Although the intention is always to get your staff to kick back and have a great time, you want to avoid a potential atmosphere of ‘forced fun’ and organise a party that’s a little more engaging.

Make sure you ask for employees' opinions

You could start by asking for feedback on the previous year’s Christmas party and make the planning process a little more democratic. According to a survey by Perkbox, 60% of employers don’t ask their teams how they’d like to celebrate, which is a missed opportunity. Asking before planning will offer a good idea of what kind of things excite your employees most, which could lead to higher engagement and a bigger turnout on the day itself. Draft up a simple questionnaire asking your staff what they liked and disliked about last year’s party and what they would like to see this year.

If you’re looking for something a little different this year, read on for some unique work Christmas party ideas:

  • Throw a Christmas event in the countryside with outdoor activities for team building, such as obstacle courses and races.
  • Introduce an interactive activity such as cocktail making classes or ice carving workshops.
  • Throw a boat party or hire a party bus. Getting the entire team onboard a moving venue can be a fun experience. And perhaps a little more exciting than booking Conference Room B!
  • Create a Christmas treasure hunt. Give your employees a chance to explore their city by creating a set of fun and festive challenges. This could be great for team building and encouraging employees to mingle.

What to do when Christmas isn't an option…

Budgets and timings for Christmas parties can often be difficult to both decide upon and justify when beginning the planning process.

For those whose busiest time is over the festive period, a Christmas party may not be a viable option; for those who don’t have a limited budget, the high price of venue spaces and hotels may limit you to how much you can do.

If this is the case, throw away the rule book!

Pushing your event to January can be beneficial for a number of reasons, including:

  • An ‘end of the year’ celebration, rather than a Christmas party, creates a much more secular event – removing the bone of contention surrounding religious events, and creating a much more inclusive workplace environment.
  • If Christmas is a busy period, an event held in January can give employees something to look forward to at the end of a trying period. Equally, this event can act as more of a reward and thank you to hard-working staff.
  • If budget is an issue, hosting celebrations in the New Year means that venue prices will have dropped dramatically, giving you a wider choice of suitable event spaces – and the chance to create a theme that doesn’t necessarily have to focus on Christmas.

Whichever theme or idea you decide to go for, hiring a professional events agency with corporate event management experience will help bring your vision to life - whilst also taking away some of the stress!

We can take care of the following:

  • Provide creative ideas and unique event formats, whether you’re looking for something classic or unusual.
  • Take care of the entire planning process and creating a clear timeline.
  • Work to a set budget.
  • Negotiate and liaise with vendors and suppliers. Our existing relationships with venues and caterers means that we'll be able to get better deals than if you approached them directly.
  • Prepare a detailed itinerary for the day.
  • Manage all tasks and activities on the day itself.
  • Set measures in place to track the success of your event.
  • Venue finding and booking.

Find out more about how we can help with results-driven event marketing and all types of corporate events, by visiting our contact page.