Tis the season! Need a great way to thank employees who have supported your company’s success? Plan a party and celebrate their contributions!
Beyond being fun, there are many other important benefits for your team. Hosting an office holiday party can:
• Boost morale – An end of the year party celebrates wins and inspires continued dedication. Add a couple words to gets folks excited about the future. Keep it brief so you don’t alter the party’s festive ambiance.
• Reinforce company culture – Beyond clever value statements, a party demonstrates your commitment to bringing those values to life. It also shows you genuinely care about employees and you’re a fun place to work. Bonus: post-party buzz can support recruiting efforts!
• Enhance team dynamics – Socializing outside of standard work circles can enrich interdepartmental collaboration. Bonding in a low-stress party setting helps everyone get to know each other better.
You’re onboard and ready to start planning a festive event. Make sure all your hard work doesn’t get spoiled by unexpected issues or litigation. By considering potential challenges before they happen, you can sit back and enjoy the party.
Here are some tips that will help you host a compliant office holiday party without stifling the fun.
• Planning – Assemble a diverse but small group of employees so differing opinions can be voiced from the start. You want everyone to feel welcome, so the team needs to consider culture and religion when choosing themes, décor, food and beverages. If the team is unsure about certain choices, they can simply ask to prevent offending anyone. Also, make decisions about dress code, gift giving and guest policy, so no one is left guessing or embarrassed. That way, you plan a party that’s fun for everyone.
• Attendance – Of course you hope employees are inspired to attend, but mandatory attendance is not the answer. If you plan an after-hours party, it should be a voluntary event for everyone. Don’t worry, nonexempt employees who choose to attend a voluntary party don’t need to be paid. Another option is to schedule it during the workday when everyone is already getting paid. Even if folks are having a blast, stick to the invitation’s published hours.
• Serving Alcohol – When the celebratory mood strikes, people can lose track of how many drinks they’ve enjoyed. You don’t want anyone to get hurt, so if you’re serving alcohol, hire a professional bartender who knows to keep an eye out for intoxicated guests. Consider offering shuttle service, cab rides or arranging designated drivers to ensure everyone gets home safely. Still concerned? Consider brunch or an afternoon soirée when alcohol is less of a focal point. Other strategies include limiting alcoholic selections, closing the bar before the party ends or only serving alcohol during the meal.
• Etiquette – Parties can be so fun, but lowered inhibitions can cause problems. Send an email or memo before the event reminding everyone this is still a company event where everyone should feel comfortable. Expected behavior reminders can help everyone enjoy themselves. Leverage a clever writer who can highlight the rules using a playful yet serious tone that reflects your company culture.
MidwestHR, a top PEO in Illinois (professional employer organization), is here to help companies navigate HR nuances when planning everything from holiday parties to benefits packages. By outsourcing HR, small- and medium-sized companies get access to a dedicated account manager who works with you on everything related to HR: payroll, recruiting, retention, benefits, retirement and so much more. Unlike other PEOs, MidwestHR offers a la carte pricing, so you only pay for the services you need. With a 96% retention rate, our clients credit our partnership with helping them to grow their companies. Give us a call at 630-836-3000 to learn how we can help your company.