For many businesses, 2022 will be the first time in three years that COVID-19 hasn’t been a significant factor. This means hosting Christmas work events and parties with full fervour and enthusiasm. However, it has been a challenging year for many businesses and employers. You may wonder if it’s even worth hosting an office Christmas party. The answer is a resounding yes.
The idea is to use this opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and encourage your team to end the year on a high note. If planned efficiently and safely, it can be an excellent team-bonding tool.
There are several benefits of hosting a Christmas work event.
Improves employee retention
Studies have shown that employees who felt their Christmas Party was a success were more likely to stay with the company for longer. Taking the effort to celebrate your team and their hard work goes a long way toward making them feel appreciated. They feel included and respected.
Did You Know?
Data has revealed that employees who had a great time at the Christmas party were 96% less likely to resign the following year.
Office Christmas parties and events allow them to engage with the team informally, build interpersonal relationships, and network with their managers.
With considerable skills and labour shortages around us, any tool that retains employees and engages them is a gift for employers.
Builds team culture
We generally spend 40 hours or more in the office every week. If your working relationships are toxic or the team culture is unpalatable, then you will not be able to succeed or focus on work. Gallup conducted a study about employee engagement and team culture that discovered that highly engaged business units achieve a 20% increase in sales. Simply put, a team culture that engages employees produces better results and improves productivity.
Employees with strong social ties with their co-workers are also likely to stay with the company longer.
Use the end-of-year party to build and improve your team culture. Christmas parties provide your employees with a chance to collaborate and connect on a personal level. If you have different departments, this can foster inter-departmental relationships or collaboration. Some opportunities to build team culture:
‘Decorate your desk/area’ competition
A potluck lunch where employees bring different Christmas foods and snacks
Team activities and games
Employers that recognize and value high-performing employees see better business outcomes. It’s the end of the year, the team has completed several projects, ticked off milestones, and worked hard to be in their roles. If you recognize this during office Christmas parties, it will motivate them. Public awards and recognition inspire employees to achieve more in the year ahead.
Christmas parties are a perfect way for employees to have fun. Having a good time at the office Christmas party can impact employee moods profoundly. It makes them happy, and happy employees are productive employees. They can also network socially with other employees, supervisors, and managers.
Be merry and safe
While hosting Christmas parties may be a good idea, don’t forget that you have a duty of care toward your employees.
If you are an employer, or person conducting a business undertaking (PCBU), you have the main responsibility for the health and safety of everyone in your workplace, including visitors.
If an event is held outside working hours and the workplace, you can be considered liable. There are cases of employees engaging in inappropriate behaviour or conduct at work functions that have caused a festive fiasco for employers.
The risks of drunken inappropriate behaviour and harassment are more likely to be an issue if your employees drink a lot. In 2015, an employee was fired for workplace bullying and sexual harassment at an office Christmas party. The Fair Work Commission found that it was a case of unfair dismissal as how alcohol was served at the event was an exacerbating factor, as there was unlimited service of alcohol and no managerial supervision on the consumption of alcohol.
You should communicate all expected standards of behaviour clearly to employees including responsible consumption of alcohol.
Christmas Party Duty of Care
Are you holding a work Christmas party this year?
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