It seems that most people like work Christmas parties. Free
food and drinks, seeing people outside of work, free food and drinks, haha you
get the point.
The few that don’t like those events still come, guess what,
for the free food and drinks…or because they don’t want to miss out.
Now on a serious note, most people appreciate the chance
to get together with their colleagues to celebrate the year, get to know each
other outside of work, potentially with partners, and seeing the people they
work with in a different light.
Of course, there are the ones that don’t like the ‘forced bonding’
as one of my friends responded to the question what they like or don’t like
about work Christmas parties.
The majority of people I’ve asked enjoy those events to
relax, unwind, celebrate a successful year, meet new people, talk about life
outside of work, and just have a good time.
From a leadership perspective, I would like to help you
avoid some common mistakes and make the most out of a sometimes very costly
Yes, see your Christmas party as an investment that you’ll
get some return on – if you do it well.
What not to do…
- Don’t see it as just another social event
- Don’t let someone else run it
- Don’t get drunk and do stuff you’ll later regret
The last point does not need further explanation, I suppose.
Instead…look at it this way:
- The value of building strong relationships is significant for a team. Christmas parties can contribute to develop those connections that will translate into the workplace, whether positive or negative.
The ‘buzz’ from an award element at the party will continue at work. If someone won an award for something that contributed positively to the team, for example, it will encourage others to do the same.
Celebrating the team success of the year, no matter how big or small, motivates the team to keep doing a great job and achieve more success in the following year.
- As leaders, we need to have an input at our Christmas party. You can certainly let your staff organise it but you need to set the tone, be intentional with the program and be clear what the event is all about. Have a purpose for every element of the party. Ask yourself why you do the things you do.
For example, playing a game can have the purpose of getting everyone involved. But don’t just plan a game for the sake of it. If you know most of your team have a good time by simply getting together, that’s fine. But if you want to get them more engaged, have them talk to other than the usual people, or if you want to mix it up a bit, go for it.
- Even if you keep it simple, take the time to encourage your people, both individually and corporate. You can make up awards or simply say what you appreciate about them. Tell a few stories, mention your highlights of the year. Bring up some good memories.
After you’ve reflected on the year passed, look forward to the year ahead. It is a great opportunity to introduce or mention your vision for the new year or for your team in general. Inspire them to be part of something exciting, no matter how big or small it looks.
You don’t have to give a big speech but be aware that your people look up to you and they will pick up the vibe you set.
These are just a few thoughts. You could do so many things.
Just find what works for you where you are at.
If you’d like some support getting the most out of your
Christmas parties let me know.
I’m there to help leaders and managers to lead people well,
in every season of the year.