‘Tis the season! Tis also a recession. As a small business you want to reward your staff with an awesome Christmas party, but money is tight. What should you do? Don’t cancel plans to celebrate. Your employees need to know their hard work is appreciated by management. Keep the morale as high as the Christmas cheer by choosing one of the following:
Everyone loves a great potluck. The cooks on your staff are dying to show off their legendary dishes and the non-cooks can simply pick up a cheese or fruit tray. Set aside a couple of hours, pipe in some holiday music, and feast together in the Christmas spirit.
Fund-raise together for a worthy cause
Work as a group or pit department against department to raise funds for a charity. It can be for your local food bank, a sports team, an international organization like Kiva – your choice! Just check with the charity first to see what they need. Then come up with creative ways you and your staff can help fill this need during the holiday season. Allow some work hours to be set aside in pursuit of this goal.
Join a larger party
Instead of footing the bill on your own for a solo party, check out which venues in your area are hosting charge-by-the-head events. Not only does this keep your costs down, it gets you mingling and networking with other business professionals in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Popular events of this type include dueling piano bars, dinner theaters, and bowling challenges.
Party at the office
Despite what popular holiday movies show you, having a party after hours in your office building is not a recipe for disaster. An after-hours party allows your staff to bring along their spouses or girl/boyfriends, and for everyone to dress up in their holiday best. Doubtless, you’ll have a mix of drinkers and non-drinkers at the party, along with those that like to party until the wee hours and those that prefer to hit the hay at dusk, so nix the open bar and provide some wine or champagne – and move the party to a nearby club or bar after everyone has had a chance to celebrate together for a few hours. Door prizes and party games will keep the party interesting.
The gift of time
Instead of a party or gifts, consider giving your staff a day or a couple afternoons off with pay. You can stagger who gets what day off if you need people to keep shifts covered. During this busy holiday season, the gift of time to prepare for Christmas, buy gifts without kids in tow, or to splurge on oneself with a hot shave or pedicure is priceless.
Important note: If your Christmas event will involve alcohol, make it very clear that drinking and driving will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Before any imbibing gets underway, make sure controls (numbers for cabs, designated drivers, etc.) are in place so that everyone gets to their next destination alive. Nothing ruins the holiday spirit faster than the tragic death or accident of an employee – especially when the accident could have been so easily prevented.
Christmas can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. What your staff need is to feel appreciated and to spend some time celebrating with each other – and with you! You don’t need to break the bank to enjoy some Christmas cheer with your staff.