The holiday season is upon us! Planning the office holiday party can feel like a daunting task. If you get it right, the holiday party can become more than just an end-of-the-year celebration. A well planned holiday party is an opportunity to gather your employees for recreation, motivation, team building and recognition. Make your company holiday party a success by following these 5 tips:

1. Schedule

Don’t put employees in juxtaposition by planning the party to close to the actual holiday where family time has already been scheduled.

If employees have school age children, avoid planning the party during the school vacation altogether in case they are taking a family vacation.

If you want to have a party on a Friday, consider the employees with looming deadlines and try to pick a day that falls after closings and deadlines have been met. The end of the month tends to be the worst so pick a day near the beginning or middle of the month.

If you have employees coming from afar, fold in meetings and training to capitalize on their trip.

If you plan your party in the evening, think about including  spouses, significant others and perhaps children.

2. Get Creative

Consider different venues. There is no need to do a traditional cocktail party. Consider taking a field trip to a popular show.

If you do want a traditional cocktail party, invite a master chef or hire entertainment. Taking that extra step will give your employees a unique experience.

If you opt for a family event, make sure to have plenty of kid friendly activities. Schedule the party at a bowling alley or theme park.

3. Engage in Team-Building

Break the ice with some games, contests or raffles. Consider offering prizes such as coffee cards, parking passes, gift cards or even a paid day off. No matter your budget, sparing a little will go a long way.

Take the time to personally thank the employees for their time, effort and dedication. To many employees, appreciation and validation can feel like the best gift of all. It can also smooth out any existing tension and improve the team dynamic going into the New Year.

4. Focus on Food

The best rule of thumb to plan by is to make sure it’s a party that you would want to attend.

When putting together the menu, consider food allergies and special dietary restrictions.

Provide plenty of food with a variety of options.

5. Serve Alcohol Responsibly

Serve alcohol safety to protect your employees and minimize liability.

If you want to host an open bar, offer Uber/Lyft rides home and stop serving 1 hour before the end of the party.

Consider the non-drinkers and offer plenty of non-alcoholic choices that feel special like Motts Sparkling Cider, Shirley Temples, and Virgin Margaritas.

For real-life testimonials on the best holiday parties, read Inc. article Office Holiday Parties Your Employees Want to Attend.

Source: This post was inspired by a human resource training video produced by HR360.

Keywords/Tags (separate with comma): HR, Training, Holiday Party, Office Holiday Party, Office Party, Team Building, Liability, Bonuses, Employee Gifts

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