Don’t Skip The Holiday Bash! 2016 Edition!
How Throwing a Christmas Party Can Bond Your Employees
Ah the holidays . . . the time of the year when you’re scrambling to buy gifts, set up your Christmas decorations, and answer all those friends asking you when your super fun annual holiday bash is going to be this year just so they can tell you they’re too busy to make it. We all know the drill. And we all say we’re going to “start earlier next year” so that we don’t end up scrambling like a disturbed ant colony at the last second, but we never do.
Of course this naturally carries over into the office. Let’s face it. Does anyone want to work around the holidays? There are those companies who make the bulk of their annual revenue during the holidays, and they’re so scarce that they may as well not have friends or family until the new year. And then there are those companies, like us at Motoza who offer SEO services to the companies who are scrambling during the holidays. Let’s just say it’s a time we hold down the fort, but otherwise have some time to finally breathe.
And yet somehow, most companies find a way to plan some kind of holiday party for their employees, or at the very least provide that Christmas bonus, or pass out gifts. Something. As nice as gifts are, and no one is going to scoff at that pretty bonus check, I would opine (I know nobody uses that word, but I’m going to use it anyway) that the party is the better investment.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip The Holiday Party
Here’s the thing about throwing a party: it’s not just food and games and time that you could be working but actually have a legitimate reason not to. It’s one of the few times you are able to genuinely mingle with and get to know everyone in your company. Not just people on your floor, or in your department. But if done right, everyone is invited and you get to meet the different people who make your company flourish. People you wouldn’t normally cross paths with. Even at smaller companies, like Motoza, we can get bogged down with day to day tasks, and when we chat or go out to lunch, we often find ourselves talking about, what else? Work.
Throwing a party, and the holidays offer a most convenient excuse, is your chance to get everyone together to recognize that the team is much bigger than their cubicle, their floor, their department, or their peers. It’s a chance to meet everyone, even the bosses, and mingle as people instead of as a hierarchy. It’s a chance for employees to talk about themselves and others.
Who has an officemate that is frustrating to work with? How many times do you say “he’s a nice guy, but our work styles are just so different?” I’m guessing you usually don’t go to that thought. It’s more like “Gah! Can I just be moved to another department already? I can’t work with this idiot!” My solution? Holiday party! The party allows you the opportunity to see that co-worker, or that boss, or that employee in an environment other than work, which is often the exact perspective you need in order to have a healthy working relationship with them. Maybe not. But maybe . . .
Make Your Holiday Party About Family, Not Work
The holidays really are a time for family, and let’s be honest, you often spend more time with your officemates than you do your family. These are the fond memories you build at your company even when the work is grueling, when clients are frustrating, when work is slow, or when work is too much. In fact, if you are able, consider allowing your employees to invite their families to the party. Nothing humanizes a person more than meeting “the wife and kids,” if you will. If any of your employees are into music, theater, art, poetry, etc., invite them to perform at your company party. I’ll bet you never knew that woman at the front desk could sing like Celine Dion.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy, or expensive, or overtly planned party either. Have it be potluck, as many companies are far more diverse than you’d think. You never know whose spouse makes a mean tamale, whose Dad can melt your face off with his special hot sauce recipe, or which of your co-workers could’ve been the Next Food Network Star. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of a party that wasn’t fun. Just invite everyone, put the Jingle Bell Rock on repeat, make it potluck or order pizza, and there you have it!
So if you were thinking about skipping that holiday party this year, just keep in mind the opportunity you’re missing: to celebrate the holidays, friendship, love, teamwork and individuality all at once in an environment that can often easily forget that everyone goes home after work to families and loved ones. You spend so much time with your office family, you may as well get to know them fully. And what better way to do that than to party it out? . . . I’ll bring the eggnog.