It’s that time of year again where the Christmas party planning starts. But for many leaders, this can be a daunting task. Long gone are the days when a Christmas party was as simple as booking a function room, getting the caterer in and providing some cheap champagne. Today’s workforce is more diverse and progressive, which means Christmas parties need to be too.
So how do you create a Christmas party that meets the expectations of such a diverse workforce?
Four words: THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.
Lets park that for a moment and have a look at why the traditional Christmas party is no longer going to impress….
The first barrier is that there are more millennials and Gen Z in the workforce. A survey by Randstad showed, the overwhelming majority (90 percent) of employees would take a bonus or extra vacation days over a company soirée. The modern workforce craves more meaningful engagement and seeks experiences that align with their values and aspirations.
The second barrier is that there are more working parents. And as anyone with young kids knows, finding a babysitter during the holidays is next to impossible. So how do you cater to working parents? The answer is simple: offer flexible options. Whether it’s hosting a Christmas team building party during work hours or a family-friendly afternoon tea on the weekend, giving working parents the option to attend your Christmas party without having to find a babysitter will go a long way in making them feel included and appreciated.
The third barrier is remote workers. With more and more people working remotely, it can be difficult to include them in company holiday festivities. But there are a few things you can do to make sure they feel like part of the team. First, consider sending them a care package with some festive treats and a personalised note. Second, host a virtual or hybrid Christmas party complete with games, prizes and plenty of Christmas cheer. And finally, make sure to include them in any holiday-related communications you send out. Whether it’s a company-wide email or a group chat, remote workers should always feel like they’re part of the team.
Finally and arguably most importantly a rise in lack of inclusivity. With an increasingly multicultural workforce and a desire for a more inclusive workforce many no longer like the standard Christmas party. A study by McKinsey found that 35% of respondents felt their organizations put too little effort into creating a diverse, inclusive environmen This is often because the focus is on drinking and partying, which can be exclusionary for those who don’t drink or who don’t enjoy that type of atmosphere.
With all this in mind you might be feeling somewhat overwhelmed but luckily this is not our first Christmas season and we are here to guide you every step of the way. Check out our top three ideas for creating a Christmas party that will cater to everyone and provide the WOW factor you’re looking for:
Christmas Team Building:
Ditch the formal sit-down dinner and opt for a fun and interactive team building activity instead. Not only will this be more enjoyable for your employees, but it will also promote teamwork and collaboration. And who knows, you might even learn a thing or two about your co-workers!
Always guaranteed to provide a lot of laughs and some good stories to tell over the coming weeks at various parties and gatherings, team building is a great way to get the whole team involved. Whether your group is on the adventurous side, after something more relaxed and low key or working remotely there are plenty of options available for groups of all ages, sizes, fitness levels and budgets.
Opting for a Christmas team building party means you can choose to host it during the day (ideal for those working parents), reduce alcohol consumption, deliver it as a hybrid event (for those remote workers) all while promoting team connection during the most stressful time of year.
Christmas Parties with a Purpose:
A charity team building event is a great way to celebrate Christmas while also giving back to the community. Statistics show that millennials are particularly interested in corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. In fact, 86% of millennials say they would take a pay cut to work for a more socially responsible company.
So why not kill two birds with one stone this Christmas and throw a party that your employees will actually enjoy? Not only will you be catering to their interests, but you’ll also be making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. It’s a win-win!
There are plenty of ways to get involved with charity team building events. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen, participate in charity team building event, or host a fundraiser to raise money for a worthy cause. No matter what you do, your employees will appreciate the gesture.
Companies that engage in CSR often benefit from a myriad of benefits that impact their workplace culture too, including becoming an employer of choice, providing more opportunity for team and personal development, boosted employee engagement and improved employee satisfaction.
Family Fun Days:
Looking for something a bit more relaxed and less structured? Why not try a Family (or Office) Fun Day! With plenty of activities and catering options to keep everyone entertained and happy this is a great alternative to a traditional Christmas Party. Offering the unique opportunity to involve the partners and families of your team this option is bound to get everyone talking.
There are loads of activities you can include in a Family Fun Day, but some of our favourites are:
- Survivor: Fun for the whole family , this activity will see teams work together to complete a series of challenges inspired by the TV show. There are no deserted islands or extreme conditions but many adventures and twists to test the mettle of everyone.
- Play Offs: With a primary focus on, you guessed it…. ‘play’! This family friendly experience is perfect for any team looking to create some healthy competition and build bonds stronger than ever. A short sharp event thats completely customisable so you can choose activities that excite the young and old while catering to all fitness levels.
- Christmas Cracker Jack: Combining the exciting game of lawn bowls, beautiful summer weather, good people, plenty of festive cheer and of course a few fun challenges along the way this activity is the perfect choice for families and colleagues looking to connect after a long year.
Finally, your Christmas celebration should be about your people, not the holiday; remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas! A party is about celebrating your employees and showing them how much they mean to you. So don’t make it all about Santa and reindeer games. Instead, focus on creating an inclusive and fun environment for everyone to enjoy.
We hope these tips have given you some inspiration for your Christmas party planning. If you need any more help, our team of event experts would be more than happy to chat with you about your specific needs. Just give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be in touch!