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Whether it’s the annual Christmas ‘do or a one-off party to celebrate a successful quarter, many business owners find themselves planning a party for their employees. For the most part, these parties are a great idea; they give employees the chance to have some fun together, you’ll have the chance to get to know your employees better, and if you meet certain rules as listed on Gov.UK, may even be tax exempt.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to discuss employee parties without mentioning the fact that office parties don’t have the best reputation. When depicted on TV shows, a staff party is either a drab and dull affair or as a way of creating storylines by having certain staff members engage in outlandish actions, and tales of the problems with staff parties (and how people act when attending them) are fairly commonly joked about in real life too. So how can you plan a party that avoids the pitfalls and pleases everyone?
Extend the invitation
Parties can be viewed differently depending on the length of time someone has been working for the company. For members of staff who have been involved from the beginning, a party can seem like a chance to hang-out with colleagues that they know well and consider friends. However, for newer employees who might not have had the chance to form social friendships with their co-workers, a party with those co-workers can sound a little daunting. It’s therefore worth allowing every employee to bring a guest to the party; this can help put new employees at ease, and can also help the night to stand out as a social rather than work-focused event.
Talk to your employees about their preferences
It’s such a simple step, but it’s one that can often be missed by employers who are so keen to put on a great night – especially if they are planning a surprise or two for their staff. However, talking to employees who hope to attend your party is incredibly beneficial if you’re looking to create an event that everyone will love. You can simply ask staff members for suggestions or, better yet, involve your employees in the planning of the event; work out a date that works for everyone, ask for staff to go read over the options on the likes of AliveNetwork.com to choose entertainment, and group brainstorm themes and preferences to ensure every need is met.
Think about the logistics
For employees, attending a staff party involves an element of planning and logistics. Parents, for example, will need to arrange childcare, especially if their partner will also be attending the event. Transport can also be problematic; anyone who drives cannot drink, and those who rely on public transport may face difficulties getting home. The best way to overcome these problems is to provide plenty of notice; spur-of-the-moment parties might be fun, but when it comes to arranging a babysitter, they’re a non-starter. You could also consider offering an allowance to staff to arrange transport, or discussing a potential group discount with a local taxi firm for the evening.
The thoughts above can help any business go about planning a party that will genuinely be appreciated by all employees. Enjoy the night!