25th September 2015
Some love it, some loathe it, some won’t talk about it until December, but it is 3 months to the dreaded “C” word. Are you prepared?
Do you have to organise the office Christmas party? If so, have you? If like me you are the chosen one you will have started receiving emails from the venues way back in June and thought I have plenty of time.
Now, is it too late?!!
Here are a few hints and tips to make your Christmas party go with a bang!
Date and time
Once the venue has been chosen make sure you send an invitation to all of your staff so it is in their calendar and everyone accepts the invite. Add the details to the invite of the venue, start and end time and dress code. This ensures that no one can turn up in jeans and trainers and say that they didn’t know.
All venues offer set menus at Christmas that you have to get your staff to choose from before the big day. You will have some staff who are vegetarians, gluten free etc, so you need to check with your venue if they cater for this and let your staff know well in advance if they don’t, even before you book their place as they might decide not to attend, or come along after the meal.
If you are going to provide any free drinks during the evening, maybe a welcome drink and drinks with the meal, you need to let your staff know so they can be prepared to pay for their own at some time during the evening. Don’t forget that some people just don’t drink alcohol, so you need to make sure you have plenty of soft drinks and water on offer too.
If you are providing transport to and from the venue then let everyone know when you first start organising the party, and they can book a place on the coach/bus. Some venues offer package deals if you stay overnight, so this could be a cheaper option. You should also ensure that you make it clear that they must not under any circumstances drink and drive, even if they only live round the corner.
Whilst you want everyone to enjoy themselves at the party, you must also ensure that if they are in a public place you expect them to behave responsibly as they are representing the company. Any inappropriate behaviour including drunkenness, use of illegal drugs, unlawful or inappropriate discrimination or harassment, fighting or aggressive behaviour and serious verbal abuse or inappropriate language towards fellow employees or staff at the venue will not be tolerated, and could result in a disciplinary according to your Company policy.
Most venues provide a disco when they are catering for office Christmas parties. You need to be aware that some people just don’t dance so although they are just sitting at the table all evening, in their own way they are enjoying themselves. If you are a large company and lucky enough to hire an entire venue for your Christmas do, then perhaps you could add some alternative entertainment like a roving magician, a comedian or casino tables.
Don’t forget that this is a great opportunity when you have all the staff in one place and their undivided attention to thank them for all of their efforts for the past year. Whilst throwing a Christmas party is fantastic, the best way to show your appreciation is to say “thank you” to all of your staff for their efforts.
The morning after the night before
If you decide to have your party on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday be prepared for a few sore heads to appear in the office the next day, unless they have chosen to take it as a holiday. To get them started perhaps you could offer coffee and bacon rolls in the office the next morning for those who do show up, or arrange to meet in the local café and maybe start work a little later.
All over for this year
After it’s all over a simple thank you for all of your efforts would be nice. If not, the fact that no one has complained and they all seemed to enjoy the evening will have to suffice.
All that’s left now is for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and have a fun Christmas party.