It is that time of year again. The Christmas decorations begin to appear into office workstation. Employees start planning their additional extra curricular party activities. Often this involves lunches, dinners and after work drinks. Most organisations are also looking to make savings and the end of year Christmas party is usually the first victim of their budget. But don’t throw away the idea straight away because the office party has many benefits for long term success of your business.
However, Christmas parties do not have to be expensive either. You don’t have to spend an exuberant amount of money to celebrate, instead opt for something simple like an afternoon tea. The return on investment from office parties will outweigh the costs in terms of productivity, efficiency and employee engagement.
Reward and Recognition
Celebrate the success of your employees and use the office party as an opportunity to reflect on their contributions towards achieving the organisations business objectives. It will prove to be a motivating influence for employees more than an annual bonus. While monetary rewards are welcome, they don’t promote genuine recognition the same way as face to face recognition and reward. However, if the office party is seen as an excuse for employees to get drunk, try combining it at the annual awards ceremony or presentation. Don’t forget to highlight company policies, set boundaries and expectations beforehand so there are no embarrassing (or legal) mishaps.
A casual environment which takes away the stress of the daily work grind can make your employees feel relaxed. This will enable them to interact freely with their co-workers and management. It breaks down the barriers between ranks where everyone can get to know each other in a relaxed, friendly environment. It builds rapport on both professional and personal levels.
No longer is it seen as the boss has to remain separate from employees. Your people are more likely to respect a boss who is seen as a person. It will also create a positive working relationship of mutual respect.
A dynamic team will ensure those employees who do to get along will be included and enable long term productivity benefits for the organisation. The office party encourages people to work more effectively as a team by building empathy and understanding with each other. In turn it will enable workloads to be shared in times of high pressure situations. It encourages collective behaviour rather than individual.
Employer of Choice
When your employees are engaged, happy and feel like they belong to your organisation, they will share their positive experiences with family and friends. Good reputations soon travel farther afield to the wider community, thus creating a positive reputation for the organisation. People will see your organisation as a good place to work. An organisation which demonstrates they care about their employees creates a positive work culture and attracts new talent for innovation and continual growth.
My favourite quote from business entrepreneur and leader, Sir Richard Branson, sill sums up the secret to organisational success: “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers”
Pictures courtesy of Google Clip Art Gallery