The silly season is not too far off now and businesses are starting to think about their work Christmas party. Unfortunately the work Christmas party has a bit of a bad reputation. A few unsavory incidents involving excess alcohol, a photocopier and mistletoe and all of a sudden no one is seeing the true value a work Christmas party can have.
Work Christmas Parties are a wonderful opportunity to build your team. They should be more than just a free meal or alcohol. Work Christmas parties are a great opportunity to build relationships, genuinely thank staff and provide them the opportunity to recharge.
So if you are tired of the 'drunken' shambles or even the same old boring routine that many work Christmas parties have become, what can you do to make this year a little different? What can you do to make this year's party one that EVERYONE will remember for the right reasons!
I am glad you asked.
Step 1. Write Out a List
The first thing you should do is write down a list of all the things that you have done in previous years. Whatever you did write it down. Went out for lunch, did nothing, what ever you have done in previous years write it down. Now once you have that list mark all the things that people loved and raved about for days or even weeks after wards. Have a good look at that list and draw out at least 3 common characteristics.
You might have noticed characteristics such as team activities where everyone could easily become involved. It might have been things that were a little creative. It will depend upon your team and the people involved however you will find some common themes.
Now also look at the ones that you didn't mark off and try to find some common characteristics within that list. Have a good look and then vow to NEVER do those things again.
Step 2. Brainstorm a New List
Looking at the common themes of those events that worked really well, brainstorm a list of things that you can do that have similar outcomes.
Start with the first theme, brainstorm at least 5 things you can do that fall into that theme. For example if your theme is 'Interactive' you could list things such as;
- A fun team event that gets people laughing and interacting with others on the team
- Each person brings in a traditional family Christmas dish. As you are having lunch people need to guess who bought in what dish
- Each staff member spends the morning 'contributing' to the local community. Have each person take some photos of their experience and then show them over lunch
So if brainstorm at least 5 ideas for at least 3 characteristics you'll have at least 15 positive ideas of what you can do for your work Christmas party.
Step 3 - Choose Your Ideas
Looking at your list of 15 ideas, just double check the list and eliminate any ideas that you feel will only appeal to a few people, or those ideas that simply aren't possible because of budget. Scrub these from your list.
Quite often when organizing team events we are blinded by what we want. What we like. Because lets face it, it's all about us!
Make sure that the list you have isn't all about YOU!
Now you are left with a nice list of activities. Take your pick, anyone will do. Keep the rest for years to come.
Final Words - Be Excited and Enthusiastic
Whatever you put in is what you get out. As the main organizer or promoter of the work Christmas party, whatever level of excitement and energy you put into the planning and promoting of the event will be a direct reflection of what staff get out of it.
So remember, as you speaking about it with staff, promoting it over the water cooler or simply getting everything together - be enthusiastic!