What a tumultuous couple of years we have all had. Most people have spent more time working from their home offices in the past two years than they have in their entire working life.
With such a fragmented workforce, along with eased restrictions and with Christmas fast approaching, it really is the perfect window of opportunity for business leaders to get one or more dates in the diary to get everyone together to celebrate and shake off the lockdown shackles.
End of year parties are a long-standing tradition and go a long way in bringing the team together and reinforcing a solid positive work culture. The end of year office party is a unique opportunity to strengthen work relationships, reward staff and really get to know the people you work with on a deeper level.
And after two years in and out of lockdowns, goodness knows everyone deserves it. So, before you decide to down-play this year’s Christmas party, consider the benefits you’ll be forfeiting;
It’s the perfect opportunity to thank your team
Don’t end the year on a low note. Getting your team together to have a party, a lunch, a dinner or a day out white-water rafting, whatever you choose, end of year get-together are a great way to say ‘thank you for a job well done’. You don’t have to have an official awards ceremony at your Christmas party to make employees feel recognised, just the act of organising and funding a party is a show of gratitude in itself. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are much more likely to be committed and motivated.
It’s the perfect opportunity to unite and re-unite everyone
Many companies still don’t have their staff coming back into the office each and every day. And if they do, it’s likely the staff who are going into the office are only seeing a few others, not their entire office team.
Having team offsites or parties are a great way to re-unite the entire team in a relaxed and ‘off the clock’ atmosphere. This builds rapport and allows the entire team to build stronger relationships with each other. This is especially vital after the year we have had, where we haven’t had the opportunity build work relationships by going out for coffees, lunches, or even chatting to one another at the water cooler.
Many teams are in desperate need to have some face-to-face catch ups, having been starved of them for almost two years on and off. Office parties are a great way for staff to get to know each other on a deeper level than what their roles are within the office. It gives staff the opportunity to build trust and rapport amongst each other. When the new year rolls around, it can make life a little bit easier as relationships are a little bit stronger from the lasting bonds that may have been developed at an end-of-year party.
Many companies this year may be doing Christmas parties on a smaller scale or be limited to team get togethers depending on the size of the company. It’s worth noting however, that if possible, end of year gatherings are a great way for upper management to meet and engage with employees.
If you want your corporate culture to include a sense of trust in company leadership, it’s important for employees to have opportunities to interact and build rapport with their management team. Cue the Christmas party. The perfect setting for executives and staff to mingle away from the pressures of the office.
It’s an opportunity to get everyone re-connected to the bigger picture
As a leader it’s really important to seize your opportunities to re-boot your team and reconnect everyone to the bigger picture, the true purpose of what you do. Working at a day-to-day level can result in tension and friction in the workplace, particularly as we lose sight of the bigger picture.
Getting the whole team together in a fun and celebratory environment is an excellent opportunity to remind everyone of the common goals you are working towards and reinforce a strong and unified team, ready to tackle the year ahead.
Reminding staff of the bigger picture allows everyone to feel part of something bigger than themselves, which in turn reinvigorates the energy and intent of the team. Without delving too deeply into this in what is meant to be a celebratory setting, leaders should take the opportunity to say a few words to this effect when they have everyone gathered together.
It’s an opportunity to let tensions and conflict melt away
End of year parties present the chance to let smaller tensions and frictions that may have built up over the year melt away and make everyone leave feeling a little more connected and fulfilled. By reminding staff of the bigger picture, smaller frictions that seem big, suddenly take on a new perspective and with any luck, staff see off the year with a refreshed perspective focusing on the positives of their jobs rather than the negatives.
Don’t miss the opportunity to build strong bonds and reinforce a positive and energised work culture as the end of year approaches. Let’s see 2021 off with a bang!
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