Just how can you create a Christmas event that’s fun but also creates a lasting bond between team members?

A good staff Christmas party. Maybe you’re playing mini golf, painting and sipping at Pinot & Picasso, busing it to a winery, or going somewhere nice for lunch !

Whatever you’re up to, there’s a few opportunities that make this a worthwhile exercise.

  1. It’s a chance to thank your employees for the effort they have put in over the year.

The Christmas party is an ideal time to acknowledge and celebrate wins and finishes the year off on a positive note.  You could give out Thank you awards to individuals, acknowledge the work of a team or get the social club to arrange some crazy awards so it’s a bit fun.  When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work.  A little like Pavlov’s dogs, people will repeat a behaviour if they get rewarded for it.

  1. It says to the team ‘We’re done, great job!

It becomes a ritual to close the year off, much like an exclamation mark. We underestimate the importance of ritual celebrations in our lives – they are worth investing in.  Some anthropologists who have studied this in more depth have discovered that rituals can enhance a sense of belonging and willingness to favour those in their ritual group over others in the organisation.  If you have issues with team cohesion in your workplace, why not start some ritual activities (a series of actions in a prescribed order) that build positivity and connectedness?  The Christmas Party is a great place to start.

  1. It makes the employees feel valued.

The more valued they feel, the harder they will work.  Maybe it’s time to include partners and families in the celebrations?  It builds a sense of celebration as well as community and acknowledges the value of families as well.  Create a fantastic memory so that people who missed out want to be there next year!

  1. It creates an opportunity for employees to relate to one another on a more personal level.

It’s easy at work to just be focused on the task, and some personality types do that more naturally than others.  So, its quite possible to go weeks without having a meaningful and personal conversation or connection with another team member, especially during recent pandemic times.

Building team cohesion is a fundamental basis for creating a high performing team.  The more trust and respect there is, the better the team will relate on a professional level as well.   It’s also great for those who work part time or offsite, to give them a sense of belonging.  Also, it meets the need for the social types to play!  And they love organising a party!  It also gives permission for them to be themselves at work and add some fun to the work environment, which can assist with relieving stress when the pressure is on.

  1. Rev them up!

You can use the Christmas party not only to thank employees for the work they’ve done throughout the year, you can rev them up for the coming year.

What a great opportunity to inspire and motivate and prepare them for the next big push.  It is also time for senior leaders to connect with team members who they would not normally speak to – this is a great networking opportunity for them.  Often senior leaders don’t get a chance to talk to their employees.  Getting out and about will help put a name to a face, build credibility and make their communication more effective as the staff will want to know what they have to say.

  1. Why wait for Christmas?

Why not have an event quarterly?  Or if Christmas doesn’t work try an EOFY party – perfect for the finance industry.  Look for opportunities to take your team out for a day or Friday afternoon to thank them, celebrate a win, get families together etc.

The benefits greatly outweigh the negatives and the opportunities are endless.  Get planning!

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