How to Host Awesome Holiday Office Parties
Fall is here and so are many of the holidays we love. Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, or the December holidays, here are some fail-safe things you can do to make sure everyone shows up and has a good time.
Throw a Potluck
One of the easiest ways to lure people away from their desks is – you guessed it – food. Create a sign-up sheet with different categories to make sure you have enough savory and sweet dishes, and provide options for those with dietary restrictions. If you’re the organizer, you might supply the drinks and utensils, maybe even some appetizers or snacks. Depending on the holiday, you might also suggest a theme. If it’s Halloween, you could ask folks to bring their spookiest fare.
Have a Raffle
This is yet another way to get people out of their offices. Everyone who shows up gets a ticket and on the back, they’ll sign their name. At different times during the party, have a drawing. Maybe leave the big prize to the end. You could even stipulate that people must be present to win. Some of the prizes you could offer are gift cards, smart watches, paid time off (PTO), or tickets to an event (a sporting event, a concert, etc.). A weekend at a local hotel (think staycation) or airline tickets are also attractive options. If resources allow, the sky’s the limit.
Designate Secret Santas
During December, this is always a big hit. Employees draw random names and get paired up with someone. The Secret Santa is given a wish list to choose from to give to their giftee. A smart idea is to set a monetary limit, such as gifts for under $25. After opening the present, the giftee has to guess who gave them the gift.
Set Up Games
Think giant Jenga. Pin the carrot nose on the snowman. Cornhole. These can be scheduled or ongoing. And best of all, it’s easy and uncomplicated. Employees can come and go as they wish. A little competition while everyone is noshing is a surefire way to foster employee bonding.
Host a White Elephant Gift Exchange
This is another classic. Everyone brings a wrapped gift and then you draw numbers. People sit in a circle with the presents in the middle, select their gifts in numerical order and unwrap them for all to see. But here’s the fun part: You can steal a gift that someone before you has unwrapped, which causes that person to either select a gift from the pile or steal from someone else. After three steals, the gift is frozen with whoever has it.
Working side by side with your colleagues for a purpose greater than yourself always cultivates a sense of community. For example, you could print off blank cards with your company logo on them, then ask employees to send a note of thanks to deployed military members. Another thing you could do with the cards is send a word of encouragement to those who live in places like The Salvation Army. The holidays can bring up lots of emotions, and sending positive messages to others is always a reward in and of itself. After all, when you give, you receive.
Whether you try one or all of these ideas, taking a break from the grind and enjoying a little non-work fun is not just necessary, it’s critical. When employees can cut loose, as well as feel appreciated and cared for, you’ll likely have a happier, healthier workplace.