If your idea of an office party is something you do every Christmas, have it catered by the local whoever, host it at the country club, stuff everyone with food and drink, have the dance band that was playing way-back-when blare out the forgotten tunes, then produce the meaningless speeches, pass out plaques, watches and certificates and tell everyone what a great time they’re having; forget it!
You’re not just wasting your money, you’re wasting your most valuable asset, your employees on something they don’t want to attend, dread, and put-up-with because it’s their job.
Here are tips on how to motivate, increase productivity and gain the enthusiastic appreciation of your employees. Throwing division, department or location parties four to six times a year maintains that personal touch so wanted by your employees. Small dinner parties where people on the same team get to talk, joke and have fun are much more rewarding than the big bash.
You could even have long lunches at top-notch eating places for up to 15-20 people where for two hours people get to let their hair down, enjoy the camaraderie of friends and coworkers and in general have fun. The secret is to be sure you call everyone by name and make them feel part of a team.
A potluck dinner, bowling, theater night, new-restaurant, picnic, all is good reasons to get together. The idea is to help your team to be just that, a team, made up of individuals all working together to get the job done. It’s not necessary to have the big bash, lots of inexpensive get-togethers work far better to improve the day-to-day interaction needed.
Give your employees the task of designing the party. Provide a budget, then let them decide just what kind of a party they want. You’ll have a lot better time and your employees will have a lot more fun. This is also a way to develop that entrepreneurial spirit, and who knows, you may find your next office manager or team leader as a result of their activities.
A picnic, fishing trip or similar event can include the families of employees where they can get acquainted and share stories. This also says you recognize that your workers have a life outside the office. When spouses and family discover that their breadwinner’s day family is not the
ogres they imagined, your employee will have an easier time of it when you really need a round-the-clock effort.
The subject is a party, not a business meeting. Whatever you do, don’t talk business. You can welcome new people and give out a couple of awards, but skip the long-winded speeches. Just after you lost a big account is not the time to throw a party; it may turn into a wake. Neither is just after a down sizing a good time.
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