“Whatever businesses choose to do, it is best organised as part of a year-long reward strategy that will help maintain good morale, staff retention and a sense of team.” – Chieu Cao, CMO and co-founder at PerkboxEven more interesting is the fact that this isn’t a generational issue. All age groups said they would prefer a meal out with their direct team instead of an office-wide Christmas party. Another major reason why Christmas parties are falling out of favour is because of the ‘forced fun’ element associated with these annual events.
“The Christmas party is something employers rely on to reward staff for their hard work. However, the perk is creeping out of favour due to the social aspect.” – Chieu Cao, PerkboxThe subtext to this is that many employees feel like organised occasions such as Christmas parties resemble a top-down implementation from management. There also seems to be a move away from boozy office occasions, with 7% of employees saying they would prefer a daytime activity. This infers that employees are not enjoying the blurring of lines between work and play that boozy Christmas parties can create.
“It’s not all bad though, as the research shows there is still an appetite to have some kind of get-together during the Christmas period. Given that rewards and incentives tend to be most effective when tailored to individuals, businesses could look to give departments or teams a budget to allow them to choose what they want to do.” – Chieu Cao, Perkbox
Small businessesSo, for some, the boozy office-wide Christmas party evidently fills a number of employees with fear. However, in small companies, where there is more cross-team collaboration, it can provide an opportunity to bond with, and thank everyone for all the hard work that was produced throughout the year. Although larger companies can often feel like a series of self-contained office units, SMEs by-and-large don’t feel this way. With job roles being less stratified, employees usually have to work across teams to get things done. For these kinds of businesses, an office party shouldn’t feel as intimidating.
How to celebrate next yearIn order to decide what kind of Christmas party you want to be throwing for your employees next year, take a look at your office culture first. Start by talking to HR, or other members of the team that can give you an insight into sentiment on the ground. This way you’re offering the right kind of rewards that they’re likely to appreciate and be grateful for. It should make for a happier, loyal and more productive workforce. So for next year, make your Christmas party a celebration rather than something that’s seen as an obligation.
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