November 13, 2017

Christmas and the holiday season often raises a number of concerns for business owners and HR professionals. Careful forward planning for the festive season is certainly the best way to minimize issues.

Christmas parties ought to be a fantastic time of fun and celebration for all staff.  They can, however, raise a load of considerations for Human Resource professionals. More than 78% of business owners attest to having encountered problems arising from a Christmas get together. Taking careful steps to avoid issues is imperative.Being mindful of the diversity of employees and trying to balance inclusion while ensuring that people know it is not mandatory to attend is a worthwhile fine line to tread. Remember, not everyone likes parties nor celebrates Christmas!

Clarity around Conduct & Dresscode

Offering clear directives on appropriate conduct and dress code is important. Again, ensuring that balance is reached between being the fun police while making the environment appropriate, safe and inclusive for all.  If providing alcoholic drinks think of the implications, have bar staff who are vigilant if any employees do get drunk and don’t provide them free all night. Remember, it’s an office Christmas party not a pub crawl!  And remember there will be staff who do not consume alcohol for personal or religious reasons. Consider adding a meaningful activity that structures the event and has the added bonus of bringing mindfulness of appropriate conduct to participants in a natural, less authoritative way.

Networking & Building Relationships

With an increase in remote teams and home working, for some businesses, Christmas is a key time of the year for people to get together face to face.  Look for ways to build relationships and strengthen existing bonds. A memorable end of year party can be vital in retaining key members of staff. It is also an ideal opportunity to reinforce key values or accelerate networking by incorporating a strategically aligned team building activity.

Outcomes, timeframe and location

Selecting the right activity hinged to carefully forethought outcomes is essential for full engagement and a positive result.  Whether you are looking for a Christmas party idea to break the ice, stimulate conversation or kick start celebrations there are plenty options available. If you work consistently with a team building provider, they will know your group and understand your company’s overall vision and culture making the process much easier. Defining the location, number and demographic of participants is also important.  Many companies choose to get outside in the fresh air with a festive themed GPS treasure hunt like Go Team.  Indoor tablet based team quizzes like Push It! and Quickfire spice up a Christmas party and get people networking, laughing and appreciating each other’s varied skills quickly and effortlessly.  Whether indoors or outdoors, these app based programs are highly engaging bridging the generation gap and can be easily tailored to suit the occasion and also subtly reinforce company values. 

Giving Back

Given the true spirit of giving of Christmas there is an increasing trend to towards CSR and charity related team activities where co-workers can have a direct impact on their local community and ‘give back’ to other less advantaged groups. Research shows that employees value these types of initiatives and are readier to get involved in a team building activity that ultimately gives to a worthy cause. There are many such programs to choose from, including building bikes and making toys for disadvantaged children, mini-golf courses made from packaged food stuffs which ultimately go to a local charity, tree planting programs and the like. Catalyst Global has collaborated with global giving initiative B1G1 to create Go Give.  A fun and highly immersive app based team challenge where points convert to impacts for carefully selected worthy causes worldwide. 

Now that’s a memorable Christmas get together! 

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