If you have been given the task of arranging the annual employee holiday party for your workplace, and are not sure of where to begin from, you can adopt the few tips given below that will help you get the most out of the event at minimal expenses without affecting the quality parameter. Remember that these parties are a medium of boosting the company’s morale, increasing employee satisfaction and maintaining the retention levels. So managing these events carefully can really make a big difference.
- Assimilate The Basic Ingredients First
You first need to formulate a project plan that reflects the details of the party. Venue, theme, date, time, guest count, décor, food and beverage selection and the overall agenda must all be taken into consideration before the actual execution of the party.
Decisions related to core ideas like timing and theme often are taken up by the executives in general instead of the event manager, but it works best to co-ordinate as a team and reach a consensus regarding the appropriate settings that would suit the texture of your company.
- Try Scheduling the Party in the Off-Season over the Weekend
It’s best to host the party when no other holiday is scheduled on the calendar, so that all are available. Hosting the party on weekends will add to the cheer with plenty of time to spare.
Early October and late January are the best slots to schedule an employee holiday party, since there is an increased availability of good venue options, catering expenses will be subsidised, and there are better deals on party packages during this off-season.
- Select a Team To Assist The Organizer
Zeroing in on the perfect team size and choosing the most efficient team members are detrimental for proper execution of the special event with the minimum possible hassles.
A small group of executives will make the process more expedient and cost-effective, however several organizations appoint a huge committee so that more opinions are expressed in the planning and ultimate execution phases. However, this activity is time consuming and may hamper the productivity, so a smaller group of responsible and mature decision makers would do wonders to the execution of the event.
Select the individuals who can positively influence their peers and incentivize them for this special assignment. The event planner needs to work in tandem with an empowered leader in marketing or human resources – in an authority to approve the planning- to help steer these decisions ahead and select the best from the lot.
- Chalk Out A Cost-Effective Holiday Party Menu
When choosing how to satisfy your employees’ appetite, a few simple tricks can help save a lot of monies without compromising on its credibility.
Plated meals are cheaper than buffets, and can be presented elegantly in contrast to having everyone stand in one line and serve themselves.
Needless to mention, your party theme needs to be reinforced by the menu on the table, and it is important to select items that match your event brand or colors, which does not mean that you should spend heavily on décor linens and other accessories.
Choosing modest items or fresh fruits for center pieces, levying a limit on alcohol consumption, and hosting at a venue that has standard food pricing options and holiday decorations are excellent means of cutting down on the costs, while maintaining the rhythm of the event.
- A Gift Exchange Will Create Several Memories to Treasure
A gift exchange is probably the most exciting event of the party, especially for the non-drinkers. It adds a lot of cheer to the occasion and leaves behind several memories to cherish over.
However, in the best interest of everyone involved, it is best to cap the gift at something like $10 – to avoid the chaos around pricing.
This token can help refurbish many soiled relations and build new rapports in line with the exact purpose of holding the employee holiday party.
Distributing parting gifts like custom labelled wine bottles as a token from the employer will add an element of surprise and will be well appreciated by the hard working employees.
- Pre-decide the Alcohol Consumption Parameters
Most employees are apprehensive about a holiday party that does not have alcohol on the menu. However intoxication levels need to be kept low and the budget needs to be kept intact. So narrowing down on the booze selection or creating cheap signature cocktails will help meet both the motives.
You may even consider limiting the choice to only a single wine, early closure of the bar, or offering drinks only during meals to lower the costs further and to keep employees at bay.
- Maintaining Etiquette
Ground rules about behavioural issues need to be clarified in an email or a company-wide memo for attending the party, and not discomforting others while still enjoying the holiday party.
Common etiquette mishaps to refrain from at the party include excessive eating, drinking, chattering or complaining, arriving extremely early or leaving very late, putting on absurd attire, and bringing extra guests- all of which not only spoil the flavour of the party but also fall heavy on the company’s pocket.
Even though an employee holiday party is targeted at team bonding and lowering the usual inhibitions existent at the workstation, the attendees need to be reminded that they continue to represent the company, despite the party being an after-work event, and hence they need to be well behaved.
Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media. You can follow him on Twitter.