December 5, 2017

It’s December…What Are Your Company’s Holiday Party Plans?

By Paul Bieber

Most of us have had a good year in the glass industry. Instead of looking for work, we are looking for workers. We want to retain our current folks and add where we can. So let’s have a great big party to celebrate the year and thank our workers. Sounds like a great idea, but there are some points you must consider.

Is the party during work hours, or an evening event?  If you want to invite spouses, then it needs to be an evening event, which I feel is better.  In the office, customers may walk in asking a question, the phone rings, or a vendor stops in.  All of these take away from the cheer of the event.  It is certainly less expensive in your office, but this year, go for the evening event.  You definitely want the spouses supporting their partners and seeing what a great company you are.  Single folks?  Make sure they know they can invite a guest.

Drinking is an ever mounting problem.  Don’t have an open bar or a cash bar.  Have a ticketed bar, where, upon entering, each person is given two drink tickets and this is the only way they can get a drink.  Yes, someone who doesn’t drink may give their tickets to another.  Not much you can do about that.  Another option is to make it a wine or beer bar only, along with the tickets.  Some folks will carry a flask in.  If you see someone pouring from a flask, politely ask them to put it away.  Ask a few trusted folks to be on the watch for flasks, people who get out of hand, or worrisome behavior.  Let them come to you, and then you approach the drinker and ask them to refrain.  Will this solve all problems? No.  But it will help.  Remember, you have a moral and legal obligation here.

Are you giving a Christmas bonus this year?  Most companies do.  But, don’t give the checks out at the party.  Not everyone will get the same amount.  People will open their checks, in front of their table mates, and the one with the lowest check amount will start looking for a job tomorrow.  

The party is just that.  Don’t give long, company-minded, speeches.  Do you have more than one location?  Have one party and bring the two groups together.  If your locations are far apart, pay for hotel rooms so folks don’t have the long drive home.  

Whether you have a small band, or a disc jockey, or leave a radio on, the fun will be there.  Karaoke is always a great crowd pleaser and is certainly not expensive.  The food should be good, but doesn’t have to be super top-drawer.  Be sure to have a vegetarian option, and an option for people who are gluten resistant.  

We are a very diverse society.  Don’t call this a Christmas party.  Just make it a holiday party to celebrate your staff.

Enough for now.  Next week I’ll write about setting Holiday bonuses within a budget.