Whether it’s a Christmas celebration, a chief executive’s retirement or the private firm generating record profits in the past 12 months, it’s likely that your office will soon hold a party. Oh, the humanity!
Although organizing a party for your staff is something that should be viewed as a positive thing, many staff members often cringe at the idea of mingling with colleagues and being in the same room as the executive team. A two-hour party doesn’t have to be a death sentence but rather a time to appreciate the workforce and create camaraderie among personnel.
If you’re a business owner or a manager and you’ve been tasked with organizing a party, then don’t start pulling your hair out. Organizing a staff party doesn’t have to be a stressful and time-consuming endeavor if you create a well thought-out plan that takes everyone into consideration and is within the office budget.
Here are seven things to take into account when you organize a party for your staff:
1. Calculate the Office Budget
Every company allocates a portion of its budget for things like entertainment, parties and miscellaneous items. When organizing an office party, try to get a hold of this budget and determine how much money you can work with. Remember, always try to minimize costs and never, ever go above the allotted amount. Not only are you creating an office party, but you’re also under the microscope from management.
2. Find the Right Venue
There are two ways to go about this: hold a staff party at the office or go out to a restaurant. Overall, it could be inexpensive to go for the latter as all you will be required to cover is the cost of food, beverages and gratuities. Moreover, employees may not really relish in the idea of partying at a place where they spend 40 hours a week at.
3. Give Plenty of Notice
If the party is scheduled for December 10th, then do provide ample notice which can be at least six weeks beforehand. In addition to giving plenty of notice, be sure to have regular reminders scattered around the office, including in the break room where there can be a large placard highlighting the date, time and location.
4. Look for Allergies and Vegetarians
So you have decided to order catering for the office party. But before you make any orders, you have to first inquire with personnel to note if anyone has any specific allergies or if anyone is a vegetarian/vegan. When hosting a staff party, you have to ensure everyone is having a great time because if one person is disappointed and can’t participate, then it could be frowned upon by the higher-ups.
5. Ask for Assistance
It’s natural to be flustered by organizing an office party, especially if there are at least 100 people working for the company. With that being said, there is no shame in asking for some help from other responsible co-workers. They don’t have to start running the party, but they can perform some of the minor things, such as looking for vegetarians, ordering the balloons or creating advertisements.
6. Neutral Music, Décor and Festivities
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are sensitive to certain cultures and festivities because of political correctness. Therefore, you have to offer a neutral environment for the time being. For instance, if you’re holding a Christmas party, then you may have to actually just have things like "Happy Holidays" and "Season’s Greetings." Any complaints may look bad on you.
Moreover, the music has to be somewhat neutral, too. If you’re a fan of heavy metal or cuss-filled rap, that’s great, but you should refrain from playing this at an office party. It’s better to go with the Top 40, classic jazz or just a radio station.
7. Should You Offer Alcohol?
This may be the ‘$64,000 Question’. Should you offer alcohol or should you just provide non-alcoholic beverages? It’s a difficult question to answer because the company may be held responsible if someone drives home inebriated and causes an accident. One of the best solutions to this is to offer a one- or two-drink limit for everyone. In the end, the best way to handle this is to solicit the opinion of the owner or upper management.
See also: How to Plan a Trouble Free Office Party
It’s no secret that not everyone is ecstatic over an office party, particularly if it’s on a weekend. Whether it’s forced socialization or awkwardness of interacting with staffers you never see, office parties are dreaded by many. Why do businesses do it? They feel like they have to in order to maintain high morale and reward the workforce for a job well done. If you’re in charge of organizing a staff party, try to find out ways to make people excited and enthusiastic about the upcoming festivities. If it turns out great then you’ll, too, be rewarded.