The Do’s and Don’ts of Throwing a Successful Holiday Office Party

Holiday music, decorations, and a sweet tooth that doesn’t seem to quit— it must be that time of year. A time for friends, family, and endless celebrations, the holiday season definitely has a way of bringing people together.

So what better time than to throw a festive office party to commemorate yet another successful year? (Or even to ease the pain of a bad one.)

While holiday office parties can seem more like a chore than a reward for both you and your employees, following a few simple steps can help transform your party from dull to unforgettable.

Party Do’s
 

  1. DO set a realistic budget—your budget will help narrow down food, venue, and entertainment possibilities; remember, successful parties aren’t necessarily the most extravagant and expensive
  2. DO pick a reliable committee—selecting a few willing volunteers will allow you to delegate and utilize multiple perspectives, alleviating unnecessary amounts of pressure and stress
  3. DO consider your office culture—Keep your employees’ interests in mind when planning the event’s atmosphere; whether laid back or high energy, cater to your organization’s needs
  4. DO provide the food—if your company is consistently hosting potlucks, switch things up a bit and treat your staff to a pre-made meal; consider hiring a caterer or hosting a food truck
  5. DO plan activity options—Have engaging opportunities for your employees to mingle; simple activities such as a make-your-own cookie station or a festive photo booth can go a long way

Party Don’ts
 

  1. DON’T place an emphasis on alcohol—set the tone for moderation beforehand; offer incentives for designated drivers and consider offering more alcohol-absorbing food
  2. DON’T forget about employee policies— in order to avoid sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior, send out a friendly reminder emphasizing that this party is a company event and should be treated as such
  3. DON’T overcompensate for lack of bonuses—if your employees aren’t receiving bonuses this year, don’t throw an over-the-top party; they may question how money is being allocated
  4. DON’T turn a blind eye—as a supervisor, you are responsible for your employees’ actions at the party; be sure to set a good example and keep an eye out for any potentially problematic behavior (including overindulgence and sexual harassment)
  5. DON’T force people to participate—while side activities can be very interactive and entertaining, make sure they are optional; the objective is to make everyone feel comfortable, and some people might resent the forced activities

Throwing a holiday office party requires the utmost care and an eye for details. Though it’s important to emphasize responsible behavior, remember that these annual parties are meant to be a reward for your employees. Given the right venue, food, and attitude, your holiday office party will be a hit
 

Read more tips on creating a successful holiday office party here.

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12/08/13 5:23 PM

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