We know you don’t really need another excuse to hold a festive shindig, after all, everyone’s worked hard throughout the year so you all deserve a Christmas celebration, right?
But your organisation might be taking a slightly different approach to staff parties these days. The recession forced many employers to focus on efficiency, and, although the economy is doing a lot better, austerity has left its mark. Many employers are now in the habit of using every opportunity to boost business.
So now could be the right time to look at how the office bash can serve a dual purpose of celebrating the season and enhancing productivity. Staff get to have their end-of-year gathering while the organisation also benefits. And here’s how:
1. Encouraging workplace friendships
Friendships between employees are good for business, and a party can help them flourish. Gallup research shows that in workplaces where strong friendships thrive, people report better levels of stress management. Also, at times of organisational change, having friends to provide emotional support can help workers adapt and resist resignation. And what’s more, the quality of internal relationships contributes to employee loyalty, so it could also be a key to talent retention.
2. Christmas parties for employee engagement
There’s nothing wrong with using the celebration as a technique in your staff engagement toolbox. Use it to publically thank employees for their commitment, present staff awards or raise money for charity, reminding everyone of your community connections. Giving people an all-round great occasion will create positive memories, which is excellent for your employer’s internal reputation, and attract good quality new recruits.
3. Get to know your staff
Whether you see yourself as a manager or more of a leader, getting to know your teams on a less formal basis can help encourage them to deliver excellent work. So, go along to the office ho-ho-hoedown and enjoy relaxed conversation with colleagues over a vol-au-vent or two!
4. Use the party as an incentive
The annual party is in itself the perfect employee incentive. In fact, you could take a lesson from Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho, who’s giving something back to his players this year in return for their dedication to the job. He’s decided to organise a huge party for them and their families as a thank you. Okay, so you probably don’t have a Premier League budget, but by bringing everyone together to celebrate success, your employees feel valued and part of a bigger vision.
5. Hold your party at the weekend
To prevent employees coming into work the next morning feeling, well, a little bleary-eyed, why not have the do on a Friday or Saturday? Party-goers can let their hair down and not worry about falling behind with work the following day or struggling through scheduled meetings. This might at least help stabilise productivity!
6. Tax-free costs
If you’re spending up to £150 per head, HMRC will provide a tax break. So, your staff get a good knees-up, while your accounts get a little leg-up!
7. Opportunity to upgrade skills
Most employers recognise that asking staff to organise events themselves isn’t just about giving them extra work. It’s also about team building, skills development and the opportunity for new working relationships to be established. People need to work together on a timeline and budget, while ensuring that the needs of all staff are included in the event planning. And at the end, they see their efforts bear fruit in the form of a fantastic event. Such team spirit encourages efficiency, and employees can go on to apply their upgraded skills in other areas of work, benefitting the organisation in the longer term.
8. Relaxation boosts brain power
One of the secrets to productivity is taking time out now and again. Although this might sound like a contradiction, giving people the time to relax and enjoy themselves can help boost their performance. Encourage staff to switch their attention from their computers to Christmas karaoke!
We hope we’ve given you some festive food for thought. The bottom line is that celebrations don’t hinder business, but they enhance it. And on that jolly note, Pure wishes everyone much merriment!
Gill is a founding Director of Pure and has worked in recruitment since 1988, including eight years of specialist recruitment experience within an international specialist recruitment company and five years working within financial services recruitment in Sydney, Australia. Gill’s approach is to provide clients and candidates with the highest quality of service. She has a consultative style which has led to her building long-term relationships with both clients and candidates.