‘Tis the season for office administrators everywhere to put aside their daily routine and replace it with menus, calendars, invitations, cards and party hats. While it is one of the most awaited days on the calendar for employees, it can also be one of the most stressful to organise.
The annual Christmas Party is part of Australian culture, but due to the cultural diversity of our workplace, many employers are scratching their heads wondering if it’s still politically correct to hold such a party.
If you’re considering forgoing the party, then here’s 3 reasons that say you should not.
3 Reasons to Hold a Work Christmas Party
1. Bonding & Engagement
Whether it’s because your company is spread out over the city, or diversified through multiple departments, employees may rarely see each other face-to-face in the course of a normal work day. An end-of-year function allows the whole team to get to know each other in a more relaxed environment. It provides a boost in morale and a better sense of belonging to the company.
2. Recognise & Reward
What better way to show your employees that you appreciate their efforts, than to treat them to food, fun, and merriment?
3. Set the tone for the New Year
It’s important for everyone to formally mark the closure of one year as well as the beginning of the next. Some workplaces will use the end of financial year to mark this occasion with a celebration. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to let your employees know where the company is headed in the new year.
So, now you’ve decided you will have that Christmas Party. How do you make sure it’s politically correct while still maintaining tradition?
Tips for a politically correct work Christmas party
- Call it an End of Year party instead, but make sure it isn’t a Christmas party in disguise. Try thinking of an unrelated theme, or just make it all about thanking your employees for a good year.
- While everyone is so busy or heading off on holidays over the Christmas period, consider having a New Year or Company Birthday party instead. This not only allows you to be the culturally understanding boss but also allows you to skip the whole holiday rush, restaurant crowd, and Christmas surcharges.
- Would you still like to have the traditional Christmas Party with all the trimmings? Go for it, but be sure to practice respect for all the other cultural and religious dates. Display a multi-cultural calendar in the lunchroom to help all employees with awareness for cultural events. Encourage employees to share their celebrations through stories, decorations, and foods that they can bring into the workplace.
Regardless of how you decide to mark the end of 2016, be sure to set some party policies in place so that it’s memorable for all the right reasons. (See our next blog for survival tips.)
Director, Your HR on Tap
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