2015 is rapidly drawing to a close, its imminent departure heralding a slew of end-of-year parties sure to terrify even the bravest of organisers. After all, how do you throw a blow-out bash whilst at the same time ensuring things remain professional? How do you satisfy the needs of workers from across the globe, each with their own sets of preferences and persuasions? How do you show your workforce you appreciate them without blowing your budget entirely?
Yes, hosting an office party means walking a fine line, but it can be done – and done well – simply by adhering to a few simple guidelines. Here’s your handy hosting checklist to help you ensure that you bid farewell to 2015 on a high note:
Set the scene
Apart from celebrating another year of hardships and successes, you’ll want to use this opportunity to enhance co-worker relations, something which is difficult to do amidst a sea of flickering screens and the constant ping of email notifications. By hosting your office party off-site (anywhere will do), you’ll break down the walls of corporate hierarchy, and give your employees a chance to really engage and interact with one another, far away from the distractions of the office.
‘Tis the season
Don’t make the mistake of confusing your end-of-year bash with a Christmas party. With today’s companies made up of employees practicing multiple faiths, your Jingle Bells will likely be falling on deaf ears (over and above making you the number one target of the HR department). In order to cater for all needs, err on the side of neutrality, and make your party more about the people than the occasion.
Size doesn’t matter
Yachts, bottomless lobster and lavish fireworks displays might be de rigeur in the Middle East, but just because you’re a small business with an even smaller budget doesn’t mean you can’t show your employees a good time. Ultimately, all your workers want is to feel appreciated, and you can show your gratitude in a variety low-budget ways. So whether you decide to throw a picnic in the park or take your workforce to the ice rink for the day, remember that it’s the thought that counts.
Celebrate the journey
The end-of-year party is the perfect time to reflect on the year gone by, and to address the highs and lows the business has faced over the past 12 months. It’s also an ideal opportunity to exercise transparency, and to build a sense of camaraderie within your workforce, as you discuss some of the ways you could do things better during the year ahead. Don’t be afraid to touch on tough issues just because the tone of the event is festive – your employees will value the trust you place in them, and ultimately feel more connected to the business as a result.
And the award goes to…
Add an element of excitement and good will to your party by acknowledging your top performers and getting others to do so too. Whilst it’s nice to be acknowledged by the business, it’s also great to be praised by colleagues, so why not give your employees the chance to vote for the people they believe most deserve recognition for their efforts. Not only will this help to foster positive sentiment within your workforce, but it’ll also force employees to reflect on the work others do, and to acknowledge the roles they all play in painting the bigger business picture.