While we fondly remember the traditional office Christmas party as a great way to share the joy of the season and increase employee bonding, some of us have also encountered (or been told about) the team member who had one drink too many and finally said what they really thought about their boss, and the co-workers who truly got to know each other after losing their inhibitions.
It can be the after-effects of the party that some remember most, with the breakdown of interpersonal relationships being one of a number of things that can follow the festivities.
Despite this, I still believe Christmas parties are worth the spend, but as Employee Benefits editor Debbie Lovewell-Tuck highlighted in her article ‘Ideas for alternative work Christmas parties’, it may now be time to start looking at how we organise and run these events.
We should not lose sight of the fact that although Christmas is a time of celebration, it is also a time of excess. Offering an activity-based party therefore ties in nicely with this and an employer’s wellness agenda.
This will help give the party a new lease of life, create some fun and competition and help to burn off some of the alcohol consumed during the evening, along with that third helping of Christmas pudding.
Ideas can include things as simple as bowling, Zumba and bubble football (which is great fun). Better still, employers can ask their staff to choose from a list of activities to encourage engagement.
It is employers’ opportunity to help employees move with the times this Christmas.
Adam Brooke is employee benefits and wellness manager at JP Morgan