Throw an Employee Christmas Party ‘Like A Boss’!

By Amelia Perrin for hwca on Nov 15, 2017

With the Christmas season fast approaching, (where has this year gone?), so too is the countdown to the annual company Christmas party – the pinnacle of the office social calendar, the grand finale of the year! It’s a cliché, but it’s true, your ‘people’ are the business’ most prized asset and the annual Christmas party’s an opportunity to show your appreciation and reward them for all their hard work. Employees who feel appreciated will be more engaged at work, which in turn, boosts productivity and morale…who doesn’t want happy employees?!

Everyone, however, seems to have a different idea of what the perfect party is. The internet’s full of articles about ‘the do’s and don’ts’, ‘office party disasters’, ‘most embarrassing faux pas’ and ‘top 10 party ideas’. With such a minefield of advice, how do you ensure you throw a great party that everyone’s excited about and more importantly, what are your responsibilities as the boss?

What, When and How?

  • Allow your people to be involved in the planning – take a vote or ask for feedback…let them know their opinions count

  • Get to know them – it’ll be easier to decide what kind of party to have. Striking a balance between the ‘exhibitionists’, ‘Strictly’ wannabe’s, and ‘foodies’ is key

  • Pick somewhere central and accessible – the better the turn out, the better the event

  • Avoid having the party on a ‘school night’, the reasons speak for themselves!

  • Don’t hold it in the office – people will be far more relaxed outside the workplace

Be Responsible

You have a duty of care to your employees and their well-being. Take some sensible precautions to ensure your event’s memorable for all the right reasons.

  • Identify the Designated drivers’ ahead of time and ask them politely to keep an ‘adult eye’ out for the group

  • Provide employees with local hotel and taxi options

  • Limit the supply of free alcohol, to avoid the ‘usual suspects’ taking this to the limit

  • Buy a couple of personal breathalysers, it’s a fun way of monitoring who can and shouldn’t drive, but don’t solely rely on these if people are border line

  • Let your people know in advance they’re representing the company and that a certain level of professional behaviour’s expected

  • Be aware and informed of any employees’ cultural needs – if you’re unsure, discreetly ask

Keep your Reputation intact

Last but not least, how are you meant to behave as the boss? It’s your party too, but are your employees ready to see the real, ‘real’ you?

  • Don’t expect your them to pay. Choose an event that your company can afford, no matter how big or small

  • Don’t duck out too early. Stay till at least 10pm if an evening event and til the end if a lunchtime party. There’s a fine line between being responsible and being perceived as a party pooper

  • If there’s a seating plan, mix the teams up and break down the hierarchy walls

  • Be sociable and make a point of speaking to as many people as you can, this is your opportunity to build trust and develop relationships

  • Stay away from the gossip – it does you no favours whatsoever

  • Join in the fun, but save your embarrassing party tricks for Christmas Day with the family, or better still, your partner’s work Christmas do!


For advice on ways to engage your employees, please call HW Human Resources on 01604 746 760. Or click here, to go straight to our contact form.