All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Well, according to numerous latest surveys, there is much truth to this proverb, made iconic by Jack Nicholson’s outstanding performance in the iconic The Shining. Namely, these surveys all but confirm that happy employees tend to outperform their discontent peers by 12 percent.
Now, in order to keep your employees happy, you need to offer them great work conditions, a series of benefits but also a way to blow off steam every once in a while. This being said, there is no method that is more efficient in this than hosting an office party. Here are few things you absolutely need to know in order to get the most out of this future company event.
1. Should you throw a party at your office?
When it comes to the idea of throwing a company party at your office, a lot of people see only the downsides and none of the advantages. Sure, there is always a chance that the important company property will get damaged but, then again, this is a hazard you are virtually facing on a daily basis.
As for the actual benefits, first of all, you get to skim on your budget by quite a bit, seeing how you won’t be forced to rent another venue. Next, you get a chance of dubbing this event as an open house, seeing how some of your employees may bring their friends or partners to the occasion, as well.
Most importantly, however, you are giving your employees a chance to create a positive association with the space they are spending most of their working hours at. You see, some people tend to start looking at their workstation as a form of a prison cell, which is just terrible for their productivity for more than several reasons.
On the other hand, by throwing a party where they will lean on their work desk while small-talking with their friends and coworkers, you might just encourage them to assume a different viewpoint.
2. Alcohol or no alcohol, that is the question
The next thing you absolutely must deal with right away is the question of whether to allow alcohol at an office party or not. Of course, the advantages of alcohol-friendly policy are quite obvious, seeing how it can help everyone relax and therefore help facilitate the process of fraternization amongst the employees.
On the other hand, when people are drunk, it is easy for things to get out of hand. Here comes the part with the hazard for company property we discussed in the previous section. Furthermore, this also means that you will have to work out the situation with designated drivers, which is a bit of a hassle on its own. Either way, the choice is all yours.
3. Should you hire a photographer?
Hiring a skilled photographer can definitely be a good idea, seeing how you may want to use some of the images taken that night for your marketing purposes later on. Simply put, you can use photos taken at a company party to show a more personal side of your business to potential clients and in this way win them over.
Still, there might be a better way to achieve this just yet. Namely, your clients tend to show a certain aversion towards scripted events, which is an impression that posing for a photographer might come to give away. This means that selfies or photos taken on phones of your employees might come to represent the event more faithfully. Those who want to do something even more unique and memorable might even consider renting a portable photo booth for the party.
4. Providing entertainment
When it comes to the issue of entertainment, there are two major things to consider (provided you have already decided on your alcohol-policy). The first thing you should consider is the issue of music.
Here, your safest choice is to simply hire a DJ and get at least one of the worries off your chest. Sure, some companies tend to recruit a DJ amongst their own ranks but this usually ends up in a sort of a confrontation, seeing how a no small number of their co-workers may eventually assume they would do a better job.
Another thing you might want to consider doing is planning some fun party games, that may help your team bond and thus dub as teambuilding activities. For this to give you the greatest effect, you should have at least several activities planned and then organize them according to the stage of the party that is currently going on.
What we mean by this is the fact that while some activities are great as icebreakers, others can give you most when everyone is already well-relaxed and the party is in the full swing.
5. Get everyone involved
The message you want to send from the very beginning is that this is a company party and as such affects everyone in the office equally. Now, the easiest way to show this as ‘our’ rather than ‘their’ party is to have people involved in the organization.
Just because this party is your brainchild doesn’t mean you should be the one doing all the hard work. In a situation where the number of people invited isn’t that large, you can have several people do the catering on their own, while you can also designate groups in charge of providing booze (optional) and entertainment.
6. Mind your manners
Although this is a party and not a work-related meeting we are talking about, you need to keep in mind that you are still their boss. Basically, this means that passing out drunk and embarrassing yourself in front of them might hurt your reputation in the years to come.
Provided it is a party with alcohol you should definitely drink in order not to stand out but you need to do so in moderation. A good idea would be to limit yourself to the number of drinks you are allowed to have that evening and, unless you can really, really handle your booze, three drinks should be more than enough.
The next thing you want to avoid is treating your office like a singles bar and being too flirtatious. First of all, there is a hidden sexual harassment lawsuit lurking somewhere in there. Second, even if there is no scandal of these proportions in question, these are still people you have to see every day. Finally, seeing how you are still their boss, these things often tend to be quite unpleasant.
At the end, remember to put your phone down, after all, you are here to socialize and interact with people from your closest surroundings. Of course, you are a businessman so being obsessed with your phone represents much more than just lack of interest in your present company.
You may be expecting an important phone-call or tracking the market through a mobile app. Nonetheless, people around you will just see your lack of interest in your present company, which may prevent them from bonding, as well.
7. A few money saving tips
Finally, your company may be in dire straits as it is, which is why you may want to find a way to make it as frugal as possible. Luckily, there are more than a few ways to do this and the choice is all yours. First, you need to think about the number of guests.
While every member of your team needs to be invited, you need to think about the plus-one policy. It would be rude to tell everyone they should come on their own but failing to do so may potentially double the number of people attending the party. The subtlest way to solve this crisis is to throw the party in the daytime.
Aside from this, remember that you are a leader and as such a natural negotiator. This being said, you shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid to barter. When speaking to your local restaurant about the catering, feel free to ask a discount based on the quantity of food you are ordering.
It might also be worth your while to do some research on the local prices when it comes to beverages. Almost definitely, especially if the party is a success, there will be plenty of trash left behind in all shapes and forms. One of the options is to think in advance and hire AOT Skip Bins for rubbish removal.
As a final point, the truth is that there are no objective metrics on whether the party was a success or a flop. The only way to tell this is to wait for it to be in its full swing and see if people are having fun.
Additionally, you can ask several questions about the party on a later date and get a feedback on the overall impression that the party made, once the dust settles. Still, for this party (or any party) to unleash its full potential, everyone needs to be in the right mindset. This is why helping people acquire it needs to be your core task from minute one.