The Do’s and Don’ts of an Unforgettable Office Party

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17It’s almost that time of year again. You know the one. Office party time!

Office parties can be a great way to show employees appreciation and give them a chance to relax and socialize. And it’s not just fun for employees; it has real workplace benefits like idea sharing, morale building and turnover reduction.

However, it’s important to structure office parties so that they’re fun but still retain a professional atmosphere. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when planning your next office party.

Don't

Put pressure on employees to attend

Let’s face it. Some people just don’t enjoy parties. Others may feel strongly that they want to keep their work and private lives separate. Respect their choices and feelings, and emphasize that party attendance is entirely voluntary.

 

Skimp on the refreshments

Make sure you have plenty of food and beverages on hand for the number of guests expected.

refreshments

Nothing will kill a party faster than an empty hors d’oeuvre tray. If you don’t have a budget for a big spread, there’s nothing wrong with a potluck. But make sure you provide the basics so that employees aren’t doing all the work.

 

Talk shop all night

Because of the relaxed setting, office parties can generate great ideas and innovations, and that certainly shouldn’t be discouraged. But try to remind employees to have fun and keep the festivities as un-worklike as possible.

 

Let things get out of hand

There’s a fine line between encouraging employees to have fun and letting things go too far. Keep an eye on the festivities and immediately address any behavior that is disruptive or making others uncomfortable.

If this becomes necessary, handle the situation in a calm, professional, respectful manner.

Do

Distribute a formal invitation

Although email invitations are nice, there’s nothing like receiving an actual printed invite. A formal invitation lends an immediate air of class to the event and shows employees how much they are valued.

Allow employees to bring guests

Guests help employees feel more comfortable and make the function seem less work-like.

Plus, guests let co-workers see what each other’s lives are like outside of the office setting. Feel free to put a limit on the number of guests they can bring, but definitely encourage them.

Pick a theme

Christmas TreeSure, holidays parties may seem to have their own built-in theme. But what about going the extra step and hosting a “Ugly Christmas Sweater” party or “Zombie Halloween Party”?

Themes add a little extra levity and creativity, and they’re great ice breakers and conversation starters.

Specify a dress code

If you decide against the theme idea, make sure that a dress code is specified in the invitation. This sets the tone for the party and takes pressure off employees by letting them know what to expect.

With a little thought and planning, your office party will be an event employees with appreciate and talk about for years to come!