Christmas Parties: Merry Go Round
It is that time of the year when you start calculating what was worth it and what was not. Most likely if you are the owner of a company the last thing on your mind is the staff Christmas party. It is unnecessary or expensive. But is it really?
There are two types of working environments, the first where everyone is a robot, the top guy enjoys the profits and that is how it goes every year. Then there is the second type, where the staff has a say, the top guy listens and shares. But guess what there is a third type emerging and here everything is shared. From the ideas, profits, losses, parties, plans and more, only that this type of working environment has maybe eons to go before it reaches Kenya. Some skeptics can argue that it will never make business sense.
When a dictator rules a company you most definitely can forget ever having a Christmas party. His profit margin is most important and spending on some food, drinks and making his staff feel good is a complete waste of his valuable income. Unfortunately since most business owners are male, I will say “he”. However I did come across a female boss who counted the spoons of sugar for the daily coffee intake and it didn’t surprise me when there were never any parties ever again. Sometimes these dictators disguise their stinginess and because they don’t want to be the talk of the town in their social circle they give meal vouchers or foodstuff to the staff and rest their conscious easy.
But since we want to discuss the Christmas party, how about we talk about their pros and cons. Having a Christmas party can be fun. It is a great way to keep the staff motivated, here their grievances, appreciate them and help them bring in the New Year with a new perspective. There are no strict rules to how and what type of party it should be, for example make sure there is no alcohol not for the sake of saving money but maybe because you don’t endorse drinking as a life vice. You don’t need to go all vegetarian or draconian, but people want to be together and just get to know each other. Yes socially alcohol breaks the barriers but it doesn’t take long before the tongue is saying things it shouldn’t. In fact have a different type of Christmas party, go and feed school children, plant trees, help the elderly or something useful. This will translate into deeper, meaningful practices that will lead to better homes for your employees. They will take these ideas home and have better lives. This in turn results in productivity at work and a much more positive attitude in life and work. Your bottom line will never look brighter. The best part is that when the company does go rough a tougher time these people will come together and hold your hand too, just like a family.
Christmas parties go wrong when there is too much of everything. Too many office politics, affairs, alcohol, bad food, bad venue, bad dressing and so on. Poor planning and over planning can hurt everyone. You don’t want a boozed out or greedy team; you want good people who deserve a good time. This behavior comes from the top example and the kind of business practices you are running. If kickbacks are your way of profiting, it will not last and your staff won’t be loyal. Then they would rather party with the highest bidder. Then for sure a Christmas party is chaotic, because the real dirt comes out and it will not result in a positive or productive start to the New Year.
While Christmas has become highly commercial in many ways, you can use it as an opportunity to create great values and honor them every year for you and your company.