Human Resources: Throw a Great Company Holiday Celebration

If your company is like most, your human resources department will be throwing a holiday party soon for all the employees. Holiday parties are usually a great opportunity for the company to have a good time during this festive season. In order to make sure everyone has a great time, here are some general guidelines to follow.

Pick a great venue. No one enjoys a party that consists of limp sandwiches in the company’s break room, or driving 100 miles to the celebration. Choose a venue with good lighting and food within 15 minutes of the office, that fits within your company’s budget.

Make sure the timing is right. You’ll get the best turn-out if you start the party right after the work day ends, or alternatively, if you have a drop-in event close to work during staff lunch hour. Fewer people will be enthusiastic about coming if they have to drive out on a weekend or late at night. Ideally, have the party before schools let out for winter break, as more staff will be leaving for vacation.

Keep employee costs minimal. Your staff will enjoy the party more if they don’t have to pay. You can make alcohol a cash bar, but if you can’t afford to at least cover appetizers, move to a cheaper venue. If your party has a gift exchange, set a low dollar limit, such as $10.

Set a good behavior example. Employees should have a great time, but remember that they’re still with colleagues. Encourage professionalism, and take steps to prevent harassment and excessive drinking. Consider a non-alcoholic event or one that just serves beer and wine, and keep the party on the shorter side to limit consumption opportunities.

Limit peer pressure. The holiday party is an optional event, and some employees might not choose to go for financial, religious, or personal reasons. Make sure attendance at optional events doesn’t impact performance reviews, and that employees aren’t ostracized by coworkers if they don’t go.