After a rubbish year what should we be doing to help our employees feel valued at Christmas ?
Has there ever been a more important year than 2020 to give something back to our employees at Christmas?
While most of us cannot roll out the typical office Christmas party, I’d highly recommend you do something to engage your workforce! Even if people are Zoomed out, a good get together (even respecting social distancing) can mean so much and add more value to your people at this time of year.
Depending on your government inflicted ‘tier’, or your companies’ culture and core values, you’ll have plenty to think about.
So here are my top 7 tips to a successful and inclusive 2020 Christmas Party
1. Make sure its something your employee will really value
If you are planning a virtual Christmas party, consider whether this is something that your employees really want. Everyone loves Christmas, and is ready to party, right?
Well actually that’s not completely true, you have heard of the Grinch and Scrooge, haven’t you? On a more serious note, some people for one reason or another might not be inclined to take part in the festivities.
A recent poll of 2000 employees by Glassdoor, showed that 2/3 of the employees surveyed were not interested in a zoom party and would have preferred to have been offered a cash alternative.
Try and take this onboard when you are planning your Christmas events and definitely don’t force people into something, they might not feel they want to take part in. Sometimes these events can cause more negativity and stress for employees than the intended good you were hoping for. Know your people and know what might work.
My top tip would be to make any appearance either in the office or over zoom completely optional, no questions asked and definitely no grinch jokes!
2. Ask yourself “is this an inclusive event for a diverse workforce?”
Let’s face it, you are never going to please everyone with a one option approach and while we want to give back this year, lets also show consideration for those that might not be inclined or able to join your Christmas event.
In my experience the annual hotel Christmas party, you know the ones, mass catering, cold turkey dinners, Wham Last Christmas blaring out of a dodgy sound system and lots of red faces the following Monday, only thank the employees that are able to attend. The attendees are usually given a few quid for drinks as a thank you for their hard work for the year or the party is paid for by the company. For me there is always the debate regarding the employees that didn’t drink through either choice or religion, the single parents, or those with no childcare that simply couldn’t attend, how are they were going to be thanked?
Top tip number 2 would be to have different options for those that, either can’t or choose not to attend. Perhaps a care package or gift to their home would be more suitable to let them know you are thinking of them.
This is the year to shake it up and start thinking outside of the box.
3. Sober Up
Consider doing something that doesn’t involve alcohol, you may find that this means more of your employees are able to attend and also makes them feel that the events are more about giving back than an excuse to get smashed.
4. Plan it on Company time
Organise the event in work time to ensure that as many people as possible can attend, if they choose not to, let them have the time back either then or at a later date.
5. Scrap the theme
If they don’t have a Christmas jumper, you shouldn’t expect them to have purchase one to feel comfortable to attend and no-one really wants to be putting on a ball gown or tux to sit in front of their laptop!
6. Gain Buy in and Ideas
Get your employees involved in the planning to support buy in and gain further insight into what they might be hoping for.
7. No need to Flash the Cash
You don’t have to spend a fortune on anything flashy, a small gesture and a thank you can mean so much more!
If all else fails, plan something for the spring, but please take the above advice if you do.
I would love to hear what you are planning and how it’s all goes, be sure to get in touch and let us know.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!