As advocates for the power of fun to nourish staff relationships and brand loyalty, it may not surprise you that Venture Up supports having parties at any time of year. What is a surprise is that nearly one-third of company decision-makers are against throwing parties for employees. Why? They’re costly, and the potential for drama is unleashed. They may fear bringing to surface cultural conflicts or existing problems at work. During the holidays, leaders may deflect their fear of festivities by saying, “Leave it up to friends and family to handle it.” They may offer gift cards or generous bonuses at work when doing so at a party would have a greater and more positive impact.
While few companies have the time and resources for a designated “Party Planner,” or a party saver like Jim on The Office television show, there’s little reason to fear a fiesta if your employees are generally happy at work. If you think a party adds to the clutter of holiday stress, you may choose a January event instead to jump-start the new year. There’s no excuse not to have a party at least once a year.
Reasons to Mingle with Co-workers
Show Gratitude (company-wide)
Showing appreciation and gratitude can never be overdone, and should really be part of the company culture year-round. When leaders take center stage at a party and thank teams with all employees present, teams stay motivated to succeed. When individual staff feel valued, it drives teamwork. Winter holidays are an ideal time to offer time off and financial rewards, such as gift cards and bonuses when cash runs low for many.
Reinforce Staff Relationships
Building teams requires some level of personal bonding. Company parties involving employees’ loved ones allow staff to discover what they have in common with each other in their personal lives. Even if two work personalities are from opposite sides of the spectrum, they may find at the party that their spouses are much alike, or that they share the same problem with a fashion-obsessed teenager. Families have a way of neutralizing the playing field. Families converse in a natural setting, which can be far more effective than a forced icebreaker in the board room with hand-picked staff.
Parties are for fun and tensions can easily melt when staff are not under the corporate microscope. Notice how the shy people at work may come to life when the music starts playing? Shop talk sometimes cannot be avoided, even at a party. So, keep your ears tuned in the informal event. It may be a chance to hear that the people who are quiet at work have brilliant ideas to share when not on the company clock.
Many companies owe much of their success to the support of the communities in which they serve. When employees team up to serve others, it takes their mind off the profit-driven strategy. When the head honchos support giving back, it also shows compassion at the highest level. Some companies support food drives and offer staff paid time-off to volunteer for a local cause, such as Habitat for Humanity or the Boys & Girls Club or an athletic event to raise funds. In any event, a goal may be set and the success may be celebrated at the party, whether held for the winter holidays, an annual meeting or other inclusive event during the year.
If you need help creating an event that combines social responsibility with nourishing team relationships, Venture Up has 35 years of experience devoted to optimizing team engagement at work and in the community in a fun and inclusive way. We travel to bring fun team building near you.