11th May 2015
The company Christmas party, the annual festive celebration, the talk of the office for the next few weeks…or longer depending on how memorable the experience is.
There's sometimes a negative perception of company Christmas parties, fuelled by relaxed inhibitions, office gossip and inappropriate photocopying. However these views are short-sighted and ignore the benefits Christmas functions can deliver.
The questions frequently asked by the Christmas party sceptics out there include… Is it appropriate to spend money on a party? Is it acceptable for employees to take the afternoon off during the busiest time of the year?
Despite these queries, it turns out Christmas parties are a wise investment for businesses and their employees. Here are some reasons why you need this event in your company calendar:
Employee Reward and Engagement
A company Christmas party offers the chance to reward and engage with employees, in the process of boosting morale and many companies achieve a ‘halo effect’ of productivity after the event.
Companies renowned for their employee engagement such as Google, Facebook and Coca-Cola invest time and money into their employees which pay dividends throughout the rest of the year with loyalty and productivity. What better way to reward your employees than by showering them with food, fun and merriment? You may find that giving your employees the chance to enjoy themselves out of the office will boost their morale and sense of belonging at the company.
A great way to reflect on the year’s achievements and celebrate success is with an address from the company’s CEO. Has your company had a breakthrough year, exceeding all of its KPI's and finally starting to turn a profit? Has it survived a difficult year by everyone pulling together? A speech which acknowledges the vital role employees have played in this situation can increase personal future productivity.
The end of year event allows the entire company to get together and have a bit of fun while getting to know each other better. This can allow employees to build rapport with each other and cement relationships which can yield long-term results further down the line in a working environment.
The event also provides employees an opportunity to bond and network with colleagues who many not have the opportunity to socialise with during working hours. Especially if departments in the organisation rarely have the chance to meet face to face, facilitating interdepartmental cooperation. The seasonal function allows teams to get to know each other and also breaks down any barriers of hierarchy.
Return on Investment
Christmas parties have a proven record for return on investment… and entertaining employees outweighs the costs in regards to loyalty, networking, motivation and team spirit. The average salary in a UK company is £26,000, therefore a Christmas party with a budget of £125 per head is less than 0.5% of their salary!
Traditionally recognised as a jolly, Christmas parties are evolving and more and more companies are combining business content or employee development with their seasonal events to get the most for their money. Team-building activities can be linked with the festive function, for example a seasonal themed treasure hunt or building bikes to give as Christmas presents to a children’s charity. Alternatively why not combine the party with the annual company conference accompanied with mince pies.
It should also be considered that it is not essential to spend excessively to reach the desired motivation of employees. A small adjustment such as a change of scenery can have the desired effect. If money is really tight bring the party to the office using creative theming and production to hide the filing cabinets; a karaoke machine and mobile bar make great additions.
Thursday and Fridays are the kings of December’s party calendar, however holding your event towards the beginning of the week can result in a cheaper package, as well as better availability for the more exclusive venues.
Here at Vivid headquarters, we understand that despite Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the busiest! Some companies therefore cannot afford to hold a party in December and many of our clients hold events at the end of November or in January, post the Christmas rush, to mark the start of a fresh year. Holding your event outside of the peak season can provide a cheaper package resulting in a win-win all round.
Great, when shall I book?
Our advice is always to book earlier rather than later… some of our clients even book in December for the following Christmas! Booking early means you have more choice of venues, key dates and entertainment, as well as reducing the stress factor and pressure every Christmas organiser has to deliver an exceptional event.