But maybe it’s time to start some new traditions – ones that build camaraderie, collaboration and good will. After all, isn’t that what this time of year is all about?
Keeping it Real
In recent years, trends have moved away from the stereotypical after-hours cocktail extravaganza, as there is less tolerance for antics related to alcohol overindulgence and related career-damaging episodes, or worse. And while the economy is on the upswing, staff resources and budgets remain tight, so it’s likely you need to take a more conservative approach to your annual holiday fete. Here are some ideas that can keep the season bright and keep the celebrating real – and meaningful to everyone involved.
- Have that holiday party – but tone it down.
Consider an in-house catered lunch or a potluck, where everyone signs up to bring a favorite dish and the company provides drinks, snacks, music and small gift items. Close the office for half a day for the occasion. Organize games that promote collaboration. Make it fun with a theme, such as Ugly Holiday Sweaters or better yet, Multicultural Holiday Gala. This avoids the December dilemma, where the overwhelming focus is on Christmas, at the expense of those team members who don’t celebrate the traditional Christian holiday.
- Invite the family.
Not just the office family, but their loved ones as well. Have a casual party where spouses, domestic partners and children are invited. (One less night to pay a sitter during the costliest time of the year? How great is that?!) Family-friendly activities are key, so consider Wii games, shuffleboard, and billiards or foosball competitions.
- Involve your employees in the planning.
This way, you ensure that your event is consistent with and respectful of their traditions. For instance, as noted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there’s nothing wrong with trees, garland and reindeer, but it’s good practice to also include symbols of observances such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Your employee planning team can make this happen in a way where everyone’s traditions are represented and respected.
- It’s better to give.
Instead of having a party, consider donating to a charity in your employees’ name. Select an organization that your team members support or that is identified in your corporate philanthropic plan. Collect clothing, toys, food, or household items in a common area, where everyone can enjoy watching the pile grow. Then, make arrangements for a group to deliver them. Or, arrange for a team project through Habitat for Humanity or a similar organization. Paint a house, visit a children’s hospital, or arrange a party for residents at a skilled nursing facility. Last but not least, create care packages for the Armed Forces, to send holiday cheer to those serving our country far from home this season.
With just a little creative planning and out-of-the-gift-box thinking, this season really can be the most wonderful time of the year for your employees and your company.
The expert team at PrideStaff Fresno has a wealth of tips for year-round morale and business-building success. Read our related posts or give us a call today. Happy Holidays!