December rolls around every year with a holiday for pretty much everyone. The season hits at the end of the year, and many businesses have a year of success to celebrate, too. As seasonal institutions go, the office holiday party is practically on par with the Nutcracker and sparkly sweaters.
Holiday parties create a challenge, too: come up with an idea that is affordable for the business, fun for the employees, and unlikely to create discipline problems for you the next work day. The placement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports that 19 percent of companies didn’t hold a holiday party in 2015, and 46 percent of companies holding parties decided not to serve alcohol.
Pinterest has lots of clever company holiday party ideas, many of which call for budgets and resources and time! Small businesses often don’t have those things, but a good party doesn’t have to be
complicated. Here are some ideas for a successful party that won’t cause a budget headache:
Consider doing an icebreaker
Yes, they can be cheesy, but research shows that icebreakers work. If your guest list includes people who work from different locations, contractors, or significant others, an icebreaker can help get the party started.
Move the party to January or February
Restaurants tend to have lower rates in the winter because business is slower. Babysitters are easy to get, too. People have sworn off the excesses of December, and, in places where the weather is bad, they are looking for something fun to do.
Give an afternoon off
If your business can accommodate it, ordering in lunch, then closing the office early could be a winner. Employees who are feeling sociable can head to a bar, and others can use the time off for errands or a little relaxation in a hectic season. The Challenger, Gray survey found that 54 percent of companies held parties during the workday or near the end of it. That makes sense: who doesn’t like playing hooky?
Opt for an activity
You can host an after-work bowling party for fun, low-key socializing, or some companies have opted for get-togethers at indoor mini golf courses, ice skating rinks, or cooking schools. Many people like activities instead of parties because they tend to be less awkward than standing around making small talk with the boss’s spouse.
A good office party is a way to celebrate hard work, help employees connect, and build loyalty to the company. It doesn’t have to be the Bacchanalia of many a sit-com episode, nor should it be.