It’s probably obvious but employee parties are a great morale booster. But there’s a right way of doing it and a wrong way. Not all company holiday parties are equal. Let’s be honest, at some workplaces many people dread the annual office party. That’s when you know you’re doing it wrong.

It’s probably no surprise that the same companies where staff look forward to employee appreciation events and holiday parties, are the same businesses that have high morale and do their holiday parties right.

It’s particularly important considering employee engagement is at an all-time low. It’s also a must to include all employees, as hourly wage workers feel even less engaged.

That’s why having a great holiday party is more necessary than ever, and it’s not enough just to have a few drinks in the office before Christmas. If your staff feels under-appreciated, that’s likely to compound their dissatisfaction.

You also need to plan an event that avoids some of the horror holiday party stories we’ve all heard.

So, how do you plan an event that will truly boost morale, increase engagement, get staff to bond and, most importantly, ensure everyone has a great time?

Firstly, and not so difficult, create something that lets everyone know you’ve put some effort in and shows it’s important to your business and upper-management that everyone is appreciated. It doesn’t have to be an epic party (though that does help).

Don’t be cheap. We’re not saying go crazy and spend money you don’t have, but holiday and employee appreciation events shouldn’t be considered an expense, they’re an investment in your company’s most important asset, its people.

Think outside the box. Sure, a VIP section at a cool venue with a few hours of free drinks is nice, but, let’s face it, a few drinks at a favorite bar is simply another friday night for many, you just happen to be buying the drinks.

Don’t go overboard on speeches, awards and business-related content. It’s a party. It’s time to leave the office behind.

The point we’re making is: find something different to do, something out of the ordinary. Something your team wouldn’t normally do. We think a cruise with amazing views and a lot of atmosphere is just the ticket, but hey! We know we’re a bit biased.

The lesson to learn is: do something that makes your employees feel valued and see the experience as an investment, not a cost. We promise you’ll see the results on the bottom line.

Learn more about Hornblower’s holiday parties and get in touch with an experienced event planner today.


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