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The Ultimate Office Christmas Party

Posted by Eric Friedman

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Office Christmas party? Yes, please!

Let’s call it the “Office Holiday Celebration Party” to include those with different faiths and religious backgrounds and also to celebrate a great year. Unlike the Halloween Office party, where people are encouraged to be naughty, this one is different. It’s much nicer and safer. Sure, someone could get a little “overexcited”, but the chances of someone showing up half naked are far less likely.

The office holiday celebration party is all about giving, bonding, and having good clean fun. Bosses can use the party to learn more about what drives their employees. What do they love? What do they live for? And what are they thankful for? But remember, you’re not collecting evidence, you are hoping to make a greater connection with your team members – we call this humanizing. All too often we see coworkers as just that – coworkers! We know nothing else about them. The office holiday celebration party is an excellent opportunity to get to know them a little better, while letting them get to know you as well.

Another great use for the holiday celebration party is as a pre-boarding introduction for new team members. Since 2010, I have noticed more companies are having holiday parties, and coincidentally more companies are hiring new employees in the 4th quarter with start dates in the New Year. So why not invite them to the office celebration party, so they can meet their future coworkers? And as host, you should make sure to give them a gift too, just like everyone else. It doesn’t have to be expensive either: company swag is fine. People love coffee mugs, gift cards, t-shirts, and snacks! It’s the little things that can go a long way towards building engagement.

If you’re thinking about having an office holiday celebration party, here are few tips to help you make it memorable.
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Plan It Out

No really, plan it out. This party should NOT be thrown together. You should have a budget and think about the kind of experience that you want to create. Think ambiance and decorations if you’re holding it at the office. But people may get bored if everything is in one spot – unless it’s an awesome entertainment or conference center. Maybe you should use Yelp! to find an establishment that will allow you to rent out a space or multiple rooms. This way each area could represent a different stage in the party.
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Mix It Up

Don’t be so predictable this time. You don’t have to do the same thing you did last year and the year before. Think about your staff – you want to have a party that best fits your team. Maybe you could mix things up and have the meet and greet at a local restaurant with nice seating and a bar area, then move to another floor for dinner and dancing. Check out the latest club! Most nightclubs would love to host a holiday party, because it allows them to make additional revenue before their normal business starts at 10:30 or 11pm. Oh yes, definitely have the party somewhere else. Seriously, your people spend enough time in the office.
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Kick It Hard

When you hear the kids say, “let’s kick it” they mean, “let’s have fun”. Remember to kick it at this party. Make it an experience to remember. As I said earlier, that comes down to planning. There are lots of fun suggestions on Pinterest under “Holiday Office Party” or “Christmas Office Party”. From holiday bingo or karaoke to ugly holiday sweater or best holiday drink contest, with prizes – there is something for every company culture. And here are a few more ideas: get yourself a DJ (they are cheap), have a few drinks (but make sure no one has too much), play some games, tell funny stories, and have a Secret Santa gift exchange. Most of all, remember it’s a party, so be sure to enjoy it! Celebrate a fantastic year with your team.

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About Eric Friedman

Author

Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of Web-based skills testing for pre-employment and training. With academic degrees in Psychology and Business, and experience with both mature and expansion-stage company growth, Eric has focused on how best to hire and motivate team members to be the best they can be for their companies.

7 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Julie Wellis December, 08, 2014

    I really enjoy organizing the office Christmas party! Many managers try to avoid doing this because they see this party as a troublemaker. I totally agree that in theory many unpleasant situations can happen, but I don’t like to think of them. I really appreciate my employees and I see this party as a reward for their work. Why do managers think the worst about their employees? I find this as a warning sign – these managers are not so involved in knowing their employees, and this can affect the productivity in the workplace. Good managers always know what to expect from their employees.

  • Kevin Martin December, 08, 2014

    I partly agree with you, Julie! We all want our employees to have fun, but some prevention will do no harm. Let’s not forget that a Christmas party is an extension of the workplace, and some standards are expected of employees. The important part is how you deliver your expectations. Don’t be too strict about the whole thing – the party is a reward for the year’s work, but you should stay alert without stifling your employees’ freedom and good humor.

  • Tracy Burton December, 10, 2014

    I’ve been to many office parties, but I find them boring. If you want to organize a party, do your best and don’t just forget about it. Holding a party at the office will not allow employees to fully enjoy the party. They associate the place with their daily work, so let’s “kick it” in some other place. Be creative and organize a party that will not be forgotten the whole next year. Make your employees feel appreciated!

  • Josh December, 11, 2014

    I prefer to rely on the common sense of my employees and not overwhelm them with rules and limits on what they can and cannot do. This kind of attitude will ruin the whole point of having a party.

  • Mary S. December, 13, 2017

    Great article. We usually rent out a place in the city center and have dinner and a relaxed party. Thank you for your suggestions.

  • Shawn December, 13, 2017

    The Christmas Party is definitely an event our employees talk about long after it is finished. It fosters teambuilding, so we always give our best to organize it properly.

  • Kevin Lewis December, 13, 2017

    We plan lots of activities and games so that employees can relax, get to know each other on a personal level, and have fun.

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Guest December, 13, 2017