We know the holidays can be a challenging time for employees. So, while the ESP IT team is busy wrapping-up both projects and gifts, we like to reward them for a year of hard work by throwing a holiday party. Not only does this event promote one of our core values, “have fun,” but it also increases employee engagement and satisfaction at a time when productivity can be at its lowest.
The traditional “office holiday party” sometimes gets a pretty bad rep, but when you approach the celebration with consideration and excitement, we’ve found it can lead to a yearly highlight. Check out these four easy tips we’ve cultivated to make our celebration a blast.
As An Individual:
Prioritize Your Time: Unless you have a true prior obligation, you should attend the holiday office party. Whether you come from a small office environment, work as a remote IT pro, or are one of many in a mega corporation, someone will always notice if you’re absent; and skipping the holiday party may reflect poorly on your dedication to your company and coworkers. So, prioritize the party as a fun event you plan to attend. This may mean doing some extra work earlier in the week so that you can relax and enjoy socializing. Just remember: the event is a reward, not an obligation. Be grateful that you work for a company that cares about having fun at work.
Consider It A Networking Opportunity: Investing energy and focus at work can pose a challenge during the holiday season, when you may be investing more money and time outside of the office than usual. Keeping this in mind, be strategic with your opportunity to network at the holiday party. Catch up with coworkers, get to know their spouses, and talk to someone you don’t interact with in the office. Not only will growing these relationships increase your happiness at work, but it could also open professional doors that you wouldn’t have otherwise had access to. Just remember: while socializing and relaxing at the party is highly encouraged, staying professional and relating the experience to your overall career will lend the best event take-aways.
As A Manager Or Planner
Cater To Your Audience: Because company culture can vary so much from place to place, it’s important to plan an event that a majority of employees can appreciate. Some larger, more traditional companies have found greater success attracting employees by throwing a celebration during work hours, or in the early afternoon. On the other hand, a smaller, more modern company (lets say, a Minneapolis IT Staffing Firm) may find that their employees prefer to go out in the evening to a trendy restaurant for some fun and relaxation with coworkers and spouses. There is no one-size-fits-all holiday party, but some careful consideration in this planning stage is key to a fun event.
Consider It An Opportunity For Employee Recognition: The holiday party is a great opportunity to recognize employees for their hard work over the past year. This can be formal or informal: at the ESP holiday party, CEO Bob Hildreth gave recognition to employees who were celebrating ESP employment anniversaries, and also to those who more recently joined the team. However, even a more casual mode of thanks from a manager to employee can help to bolster engagement and productivity in the New Year. A recent survey found that over 50 percent of employees would stay at their company if they felt more appreciated.
It’s good practice to recognize and celebrate your hard work as well as the work of your teammates and/or employees. When approached with the right attitude and properly planned, the holiday party is the perfect opportunity to do just that. The ESP office has shared laughs and excitement not only leading up to and during the party, but even in the weeks following as we’ve reminisced over photos, jokes, and conversations. Take advantage of the opportunity to enhance your relationship with your coworkers, have fun at work, and celebrate the season as you gear up for a successful professional year in 2016.