Are you gearing up for your holiday party about now? If so, you’re in good company. A recent survey of more than 3,800 HR professionals in the US shows 70% are committed fans of the annual festive blow-out.
While all recognize that our festivities are an investment, 50% believe it’s good for business to hold a bash, even in tough economic times. Studies back up their point-of-view. Research shows a party pays dividends in terms of employee loyalty, motivation, team-spirit, cross-department networking, and a spike in energy following the event.
In England, where tough times have taken their toll on employee motivation and loyalty, a survey by The Sunday Times shows that now the large majority of the country’s top 100 companies to work for make a fuss over the holidays–because to play together is to stay together.
The experts at The Bagg Group can vouch for the value of having a bash. In speaking with thousands of talented candidates over four decades to place almost 60,000 successfully in full-time, contract, and temporary placements, one aspiration always crops up. High- achievers want to feel their workplace is a community, not just a place to put in time.
We agree with the research on workplace practices that show a holiday party is a great way for employees to make important internal connections. It’s often during these celebrations that colleagues from different departments discover they have more in common than they realized.
The same research finds it doesn’t matter where you hold a party, just as long as you do something celebratory that is a break from routine. That said, in the US, the majority (57%) of companies plan on taking their festivities off-site this year, while 36% will hold a bash in-house.
At The Bagg Group, we’re lucky. We have an especially strong team spirit –fuelled largely by the fact that we do work that gives us a sense of pride and purpose every day. It’s gratifying to match the right people with the right company. But that doesn’t mean we would pass up on a chance to have a celebration – ever.
Still, if you’re on the fence, consider these three best practices for an easy, affordable event that helps build community.
A party that moves through departments: Each department hosts one aspect of the party –appetizers, snacks, beverages, main meal, desserts. In moving through the party, people get to know different departments. Great way to team build within and between departments.
Celebrate diversity: We are lucky to live in one of the world’s most multi-cultural cities. It’s an always a welcome idea to set up event that invites different departments or groups of employees to take on different countries in food, music or custom.
Set up a Dragon’s Goal Den: This is a terrific idea for motivation and building camaraderie. In a gathering place (or online for those who can’t make it), employees pitch one (easily do-able) personal goal they want to make happen in 2014. It could be anything — going to the gym, learning to make a great chili, finally watching Casablanca, doing stand-up comedy.
Members of the audience negotiate rewards for follow-through. For instance, a lunch if the goal is achieved within the next 2 months. The employee shakes on the deal they like best with the person or group who suggested it.