The holiday season is upon us. Aside from some quality time spent with our families and plenty of delicious food, this means that office parties are just around the corner as well. However, office parties sometimes do tend to be a bit boring. Not everyone finds joy in making small talk with their colleagues and spending more time than necessary with their bosses.
That said, one of the reasons office parties are sometimes perceived as boring is the fact that they’ve become predictable. So, this year, instead of throwing the same office party you do every year, try to twist it a bit. Make your employees a part of the planning process and bring in some fun surprises.
Pay attention to invitations
In most workplaces, the invitations sent out for the office party usually boil down to just another email. Even if you put some effort to make a digital copy of an invitation, in the end, it won’t make a lot of difference. What you should do instead is get enough stylized card invitations, fill them out and lay them on your employees’ desks. These type of invitations will feel more personal and thought out.
If you want, you can even designate a dress code or write different holiday greetings on the cards to make them feel that more special. Another fun idea would be to put different numbers on each card and make a lottery at the end of the evening. The prizes don’t need to be over the top. People will have fun even if they end up receiving pencils and other office stationery.
Include your employees
Usually, office parties are being organized in advance by either the HR department or the upper management. Employees have little to no say in the entire matter. Granted, it can be difficult to appeal to everyone’s taste, especially if you have a lot of people working for you.
But what you can do to still stay in control yet allow your employees to have a say is to organize a poll. This way, you can offer a number of options regarding food, music, the tone of the party and let your employees vote. The options with the highest number of votes should make the cut for your office party. This way you can show your employees that you value their opinions but still make sure things don’t get out of hand.
Go for Secret Santa
Another fun traditional office party alternative is partaking in Secret Santa. To match the theme entirely, see if any of your employees would like to help you turn your office in a sort of a Christmas retreat. You can either encourage your employees to each bring a few ornaments, or you can make a one-time company investment and buy ornaments you’ll use for many years to come.
Either way, note down the names of all of your employees and have them each pick a piece of paper to see who they will be buying a gift for. To make everything fair, you can set a particular price point all of your employees will be able to meet.
Add an element of surprise
When going to an office party, people expect that there will be food and snacks, some light beverages and plenty of small talk. What they don’t expect, however, is that there will be some fun party games. You can use this to your advantage and surprise your employees with an impromptu office casino party.
To make this special time of the year magical for everyone, you should encourage your employees to donate all the proceeds to a preselected charity. This way, you will all have so much fun while at the same time doing something beautiful for those who need it most.
Get out of the office
Finally, nobody says that a holiday office party needs to be held in an office. Actually, if you change the location and choose to host a party somewhere else, people will likely be more willing to show up. The last thing anybody wants is to go back to the office once they’ve gone home for the day, so consider this as a fun alternative.
Find a restaurant, a bar or a club that will allow you to host your office party there and invite all of your employees to join you. To ensure that there will be enough room for everyone, make sure you ask your employees to confirm their arrival at least a week before the party.
Office parties don’t need to be boring or cliché. If you take just some time to plan everything out, chances are you will throw an amazing party people won’t be able to stop talking about. So, do some planning and research, ask your employees for feedback and get ready to enjoy the most magical time of the year.