How to Throw a Company Holiday Party Your Employees Will Love
January 20, 2020
Company holiday parties are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. In fact, over 90 percent of companies—small and large—typically throw company holiday parties.
But holiday parties are about more than just celebrating. They promote company pride, they foster a sense of unity between employees, and they also improve employee-employer relationships. Getting all the employees together under the same roof every once in a while is an absolute necessity, and there’s generally no better time than the holidays.
But you already know that. In fact, if you’re reading this, it’s probably because it’s your turn to plan the company holiday party, and you need help.
Well, we have your back! If you’re trying to host the rockin’est holiday party your company has ever seen, here are 5 surefire ways to make it happen:
Drive attendance with raffles, prizes, and games
Traditionally, one of the things office holiday party organizers struggle with most is getting the whole company to attend. In fact, it’s the whole reason we’re writing this article.
If the prospect of good food, good drink, and good company still aren’t enough to motivate your employees to show up in force, nothing works better than a good old-fashioned holiday raffle.
If you’re going to have a raffle, try to give away gifts that your employees will actually want. Gift certificates to local restaurants, electronics, TV’s, gift cards—take this time to reward your employees for their time and dedication throughout the year. Plus, if you wait until the end of the night to start drawing the prizes, it serves as an incentive for people into staying until the end!
Schedule it for the right time
One of the trickiest parts of planning a company holiday party is figuring out scheduling. For people with children or larger families, getting a day off in the couple weeks leading up to the holidays can be more stressful than it’s worth. Selecting a date the week of the holidays also might pose a problem for people who have family in other regions of the world and need to travel to see them. And if you have your holiday party too early before the holidays, the point becomes convoluted and inauthentic.
Ideally, the perfect time to plan a company Christmas party is the first or second week of January. The hustle and stressful bustle of the holidays have subsided, a new year has begun, and everybody is ready to settle back into work mode. Now’s the perfect time to get everyone together in the same room to express thanks and gratitude for a job well done and a year well spent, and allow employees a little time to unwind and decompress.
It doesn’t have to be done the first week back, but just make sure you’re not planning it so far after the holidays that the holiday theme becomes dated or irrelevant.
Keep the food and drinks simple
You’ve heard the phrase “Eat, Drink, and be Merry” your entire life. It’s so old, believe it or not, that its origins are biblical. That’s what the holiday season is all about.
So, when it comes to throwing a holiday party, making good food and drink available is integral to creating merriment among your attendees! Depending on the size of your group, try to avoid complicated menus and tables, and instead opt for a more communal setting—platters, tables, etc.
Choose an accessible venue
We contemplated whether or not to take an official stance on venues for holiday parties, but every business is different. If you’re a medium-sized or larger business, renting out an off-site venue—like a banquet hall or bar/restaurant—is probably ideal. It ensures that there will be enough space for everyone, and also helps to make organizing and cleaning up easier.
If you’re a smaller crew and just want to keep things a little more casual, an after-hours get together at a local venue, or even on company premises (depending on your insurance policies), may be perfect.
One thing that should be explored beforehand, however, is transportation. If your party will take place off the premises, especially at a place where alcoholic beverages will be consumed, you should plan on getting everyone there—and back home—as safely as possible.
Rideshare services like Uber offer corporate accounts, where you can purchase a designated number of rides for your employees, and all they have to do is enter in a discount code before scheduling their ride. This will ensure that everyone gets to and from your party safely.
Keep it all positive
The holidays are that special time of year where we show how thankful we are for everything that went right. You made it through another wonderful year, and you couldn’t have done it without the help of your incredible team.
Whether you’re a company of five people or 50,000, the point of your holiday party is to put all of those people in the same room, show them your gratitude for a job well done, and wish everyone growth and prosperity in the New Year. That’s what it’s all about.
We hope you take these tips to heart, and if you have any questions (or need some custom Christmas apparel for the occasion!), don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!
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