Posted on: 14 November 2018

The do’s and don’ts of your festive celebration

It’s the time of year when we are all planning how we will celebrate the festive period with our colleagues. Whether it will be a small team gathering or a companywide event, the Christmas party represents a celebration of the year gone by and continued success in the new year. With this in mind, here are several ways that you can enjoy your office Christmas party and other things that you should avoid at all costs.

How to create a memorable evening.

Encourage attendance

Even if staff aren’t looking forward to the evening, encourage them to at least give it a go. Staff can use the event as an opportunity to meet new colleagues and get to know their peers on a more personal level.

Theme the venue or your party

If you’re hiring a venue for your party, most people will be expecting Christmas decorations, so it may be a welcome surprise to choose an alternate theme, especially for those who don’t celebrate Christmas. If you’re just having a small team gathering, consider a Christmas jumper competition for an easy theme.

Include some games

A great source of entertainment, whether it is in large groups or on dinner tables. Why not try a game of ‘Would I Lie To You’ so that staff can get to know each other better?

Present awards

Using the event to recognise colleagues is a great way of celebrating achievements and boosting morale. Print out certificates or order some trophies to give to colleagues as a reward for their hard work. This can also be done in small groups, where you could include some fun awards like “best tea maker”.

Things to avoid

Drinking too much

Many employers will provide drinks at their Christmas parties, whether this is a free or open bar, or bottles of wine or beer placed on tables. As you are responsible for the safety of your staff, providing drinks vouchers for the bar may be the best way of providing some drinks for your staff, but also making sure that they don’t overdo the excess.

Inadvertently discriminating

A survey conducted by YouGov showed that almost 10% of the whole British population do not celebrate Christmas in any form, which is a figure that may be reflected in your workforce. Encourage your staff to attend and let them know that the evening will be about celebrating with each other, rather than focussing on festive celebrations.

Talking business

Time away from the office means time away from work. The office party should be a time to relax, socialise with your colleagues and enjoy yourself. Use this as an opportunity to find out about your employees on a personal level.

Inviting a plus one

Allowing staff to bring a friend or partner is a lovely way of involving staff and their wider friendship groups, however there are some things to bear in mind before allowing a plus one. The Christmas party is for your staff to socialise as a group and they may not do so if they have their own friends or family there. Guests who are not part of the company may not understand the complexities of your work place and may commit a few faux pas.

How to organise your Christmas party

Don’t pick a week day

Although we don’t recommend excessive drinking at a work party, holding the event on a weekday could result in a few sore heads at work the following day, and a loss of productivity as a result.

Arrange transport

If budget allows, hiring a minibus or taxi can help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to attend, and get home safely afterwards. For small team gatherings see if you can share taxis or have a partner on standby for lifts.

Remind staff of expectations

Send an email to your staff in advance of the event, reminding them of what is expected of them. Even on staff nights out you shouldn’t behave inappropriately around your team. It’s important to remember that although you are out of your normal working environment you still have the same responsibilities as if you are in work.

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