The “Office Xmas Party’
We have all been there (well most of us), the office party where someone has just gone too far or became too friendly as a result of too much alcohol. ‘The infamous Office XMAS Party’. The source of stories that become part of a company’s history and for many something they wish would just go away. I can thankfully say that besides having a few too many champagnes, I have managed to not make too much of a fool of myself in my younger years (and for that matter my supposedly more mature years). This of course may not have been the case with my friends but the less said about that the better.
If you want to celebrate with your staff, but you’re concerned about potential fallout, then you may want to take back control and use these top 4 tips from Greg Jenkins founder of “long beach’ Events.
- Lose—or limit—the booze. Many poor decisions are made when the alcohol is flowing. Jenkins recommends ditching the open bar and opting for drink tickets. After the first three, employees foot their own bill. He also recommends working with the venue to create a festive non-alcoholic “mocktail” that is fun to drink, but doesn’t make people think it’s a good idea to ask the boss if he is wearing a toupee after drinking one or two.
- Check your tone. If your company just laid off a few people or cut year-end bonuses, a lavish end-of-year party is a big “don’t,” Jenkins says. Instead, he advises treating your XMAS party as you would any campaign launch. Keep the tone and theme in alignment with overall company conditions. If times are tough, scale back the expensive meal and do something more conservative in the office or at a less expensive venue, perhaps making a small donation to a local charity as a show of good will.
- Address the dress code. You don’t want to be Bah Hum Bug Fashion Police, but if you want to avoid questionable clothing choices, make sure you set the tone. Jenkins likes to include “smart casual” as a dress code note on invitations to let people know not to overdress or that they don’t have to go out and spend money on new clothes for the party. Alternatively, you could go with the beloved “Bad T-Shirt” party, which levels the playing field by letting everyone where that special reindeer shirt given by a well-meaning relative years ago.
- Change the venue. Instead of doing the same-old banquet hall or restaurant where people are left to eat, drink, and make unfortunate moves on the dance floor, try something new. If you have a young, active staff, a night at ten pin bowling could be a good way to have fun and get some exercise. Depending on your location, you could go horseback riding, schedule a few rounds of laser tag, or even rent a movie theater for a private showing. Be creative and get out of the ho-hum XMAS party rut, Jenkins says.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you find the right way to thank your staff for all their hard work throughout the year. They are helping your business become successful and therefore should be rewarded.
SSHED Marketing Manager/Business Advisor