5 Tips for Throwing a Great Office Party
The past couple of years have been doozies, and now more than ever we need reasons to celebrate! If you want to reward your staff for their loyalty and a job well done in good times and bad, a fun party is a great way to blow off some steam. And the good news is that, even if the budget is a bit lean this year, you can still throw a great party.
Here are some tips for treating your team to a fun time:
1. Decide on a good time to have your party.
Think outside the box when deciding on when to hold your party: the time of year, time of the week, and time of day all have their pros and cons. While throwing a holiday party may seem like the obvious thing but consider if many of your employees are in the habit of using the holidays for paid time off – you don’t want to throw a party at a time when half your “guests” will be unavailable!
If the Christmas/New Year holiday doesn’t work, consider a fall-themed party, a summer picnic, or even a Valentine’s Day bash – just keep in mind when your busy time of year at the office is, or, if you hold the party on site, you might have some stressed partygoers sneaking back to their desks to get some work done.
Finally, if you choose to hold the party outside work hours, don’t make it mandatory attendance, or you may wind up having a bunch of resentful attendees! Your employees should not have to sacrifice family time to hob nob with their co-workers.
2. Create a party atmosphere.
Many employers choose to hold an office party at…well, the office! It makes sense – not only is it cost-effective; there’s plenty of parking and everyone already knows how to get there. If you do decide to hold the party on-site, be sure to base it in a roomy location, and add a few decorations to make it more festive (and less work-like!).
If you decide to hold the office party off-site, try to pick a location that’s convenient to everyone – near the office is best. And double-check to ensure there’s room for everyone, too.
Idea: If the party is being held off-site, find out if the venue will provide food or if the event will need to be catered. If you need to bring in food, make sure it will stay fresh and warm/cold until you get there! Same with food door prizes…for your gift baskets, choose something a bit more perishable like dried fruit baskets.
3. Plan food and drink carefully.
The food you offer can make or break your party, so be sure to get it right! If you’re having the event catered, be sure to do your research and find a reputable caterer in your area. And be sure to include a variety of offerings on the menu to meet a variety of dietary needs and restrictions on the part of your staff
If you’re planning a potluck event, you should definitely provide your staff with a sign-up sheet so there’s less chance of repeats and more chance of having everything you need on-hand. Grab a few staff members to help you brainstorm about what you’ll need, and be prepared to provide extras and whatever’s left out.
Idea: Variety is key when planning a party member. Smoked meats gift baskets and fruit and cheese gift baskets are great for ensuring you have a variety of different foods that will please many palates!
4. Give out prizes.
Door prizes, holiday gifts, special awards recognizing an achievement…these are great ways to boost morale and add fun and holiday spirit to any work party. And they don’t have to break your budget, either – just including a thoughtful gift is enough to make your employees feel appreciated and encourage their loyalty.
Idea: Not sure what to give for prizes and gifts? Gift baskets – especially food gift baskets – are always welcome! Choose pastry gift baskets for those with a sweet tooth and fruit gift baskets for the health conscious. Food baskets are always appreciated because your employees can share them with their families.
5. Consider giving your party a theme.
What kind of party are you planning? Theme parties can be great fun and go far towards getting everyone into the spirit of things. A theme party can include anything from going with a certain style food, encouraging people to dress up a certain way, or incorporating a charitable activity to support a good cause.
If you’re not sure what kind of theme you want your party to have, seek input from your employees – they’ll love being made a part of the planning, and are sure to come up with ideas that everyone will enjoy and make everyone feel included.
Idea: Texas food gifts from Pittman & Davis are fabulous if you’re planning to throw an outdoor barbecue during the summer months! If you’re throwing a holiday party, Christmas-themed gifts are also a great choice.
Have a great time!
Remember: the key to throwing a great office party isn’t a huge budget or lots of flashy decorations, it’s thoughtfulness and planning. By taking the time to figure out what you employees need and want, you can ensure they’ll have a memorable time.