Why your business needs an end of year party

There’s been a lot of hype in the media about Christmas parties, and whether or not it is ethical to hold them in these tough economic times — well it’s…

Nervous wide-eye Caucasian woman in front of a computer  keyboard

There’s been a lot of hype in the media about Christmas parties, and whether or not it is ethical to hold them in these tough economic times — well it’s not only ethical, but essential for your business health. An end of year party is what you need!

Whilst strolling through the almost empty City of London one Sunday morning in August, I noticed that all the cafes, bars, and restaurants had started to advertise their venues as great places to hold end of year parties. The one thing that most of the advertising had in common was the success of the event could only be measured by the magnitude and proliferation of hangovers in evidence the next day!

Now don’t get me wrong we’ve all been there and done that. We’ve all attended parties that were talked about for years because of their raucous nature. It happens. It is after all partly about giving your staff the opportunity to let their hair down and have some fun with colleagues.

The problem is it’s this image of end of year parties that’s making business leaders shy away from throwing parties in the current economic climate. They’re nervous about how the public and/or shareholders might view this use of company resources.

This is only exacerbated by the constant pressure in the media for austerity measures — claiming that this is what the great British public wants and expects.

The business benefits of an end of year party

What gets lost in all this hype is that an end of year party is about so much more than drunken excess. It’s the ideal opportunity to come together and celebrate all that you’ve achieved as a team over the previous twelve months. It’s a time in which to build joint memories and to strengthen your team culture.

End of year parties have long lasting beneficial effects on staff and, therefore, on the business. The impact of an end of year party, like other staff incentives and rewards, has a direct correlation to the bottom line.

  • Staff retention rates are enhanced by the recognition of collective and individual contributions to the business because staff become more loyal to the business when they feel that their contribution is appreciated.
  • Morale is lifted across the board as is team spirit.
  • Engagement levels are heightened when given the opportunity to network with peers and superiors in this type of social setting. All of these factors end up leading to improved organisational performance and productivity levels.

We and the people we employ are the great British public and one quick poll in the workplace will tell you that they want and need a Christmas party.

From a business perspective, Christmas parties can be viewed as team building events as one team building event company told me.

… towards Christmas they (the staff) just want to go to the pub and they become really cynical about any attempt at formal team building. So, you have to start with a bang, hook them and bring as much humour into it as you can.

How to make it a real team building event

So, you have to make the event fun; I know that one of the best Christmas parties I ever went to was a take on The Amazing Race. We were formed into teams of four and give “Deal Books” that contained all the clues that we needed to get us to city landmarks.

Once at the landmark we completed a challenge and were given a letter of the alphabet. When all the challenges were complete, these letters formed an anagram of the party venues name. The event was a huge success and not too hard to set up and co-ordinate. It was a team building exercise that got people working together to solve problems without actually appearing to be one at all. The prize at the end of the race was a great party to celebrate the achievements of the day and past year.

Remember you need to work hard to delight your staff — how do you expect your staff to delight your customers and keep them coming back again and again if they don’t feel that they are treated in the same way. An event that falls flat will not have the desired effect. A great end of year party will provide performance and productivity benefits that will help your business all year round.

Seriously come on now, ignore the doom-sayers and do what is right for your staff and your business. So go on, get to it and if you’ve not already organised an event that can take place before Christmas then start to plan one for early New Year. One that’s going to motivate your staff and position your business to achieve great things in the coming year.

My next post is going to take a look at how you can organise a great event for your team.

I’d love to hear your stories of great Christmas parties that you’ve held and/or attended. Share them in the comments section!

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  1. Debbie Laskey on 17 December 2012 at 5:54 am

    Great post, Kittie, I totally agree. Holiday parties, when done well, can unify teams and employees and prepare everyone for a great new year of aligned goals.

    • Kittie Walker on 18 December 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Debbie and sharing your thoughts. There is much to the saying that a family that eats together stays together, it translates well to the business environment as well!

  2. mike lugg on 1 November 2016 at 7:31 am

    Hi Kittie
    We still have a few dates open for end of year parties at our own venue on the Midrand-Centurion border – Groups 20-200

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