It’s that time of year again…the silly season has started and one can’t help but notice the local pubs and restaurants full of awkward groups of people in coloured tissue paper crowns ‘enjoying’ their work Christmas ‘dos. You can almost touch the discomfort in the air.
Okay, so it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but company Christmas parties can definitely be stilted and uncomfortable if you don’t get them right, so here are some tips that have worked for us in throwing a party everyone enjoys:
Don’t invite partners: we involve partners in other social activities we do throughout the year, but make our Christmas party all about the Propertyserve team. It gives us a chance to let our hair down, be silly and celebrate our hard work and achievements – without worrying if our other halves are feeling left out.
Don’t force everyone to attend: our Christmas party is not mandatory – I can think of nothing worse. If someone isn’t feeling up to coming or not in the spirit of it all, I’d rather they stay at home and do there own thing than feel obligated to come and drag down the mood of the room. We don’t want people there who don’t want to be. Having said that, aside from those who are genuinely ill on the day, we’ve always had 100% attendance at our Christmas ‘do, so we must be doing something right!
Mix it up: Christmas parties are a great way for everyone to get to know each other better. We have all of our new starters give speeches to help break the ice. These have ranged from Propertyserve ‘newbies’ saying a quick ‘hello and goodbye’ to delivering an original poem that mentioned everyone in the office. That one still makes the rounds every year!
We also encourage people that don’t normally work together to interact with each other. One year we ran a competition encouraging teams to recreate silly photos by acting them out and taking their own version of the snaps. Prizes were awarded, hijinks ensued and everyone ended up in fits of laughter – we all knew each other a little better by the end of the night!
Trust people to be responsible: the Propertyserve team is a great bunch of people and we trust everyone to have a good time without overdoing it, so we avoid having too many restrictions at our parties. We want our team to be human, be themselves and have a chance to let loose a bit — not feel like they are walking on eggshells for the entire evening.
We provide transport to and from our Christmas party and put people up for the night who live too far away, so we know everyone’s safe. Aside from that, we generally all have sore heads, but good memories the following day.