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End of Year Parties provide an Engaging Investment!

There is strong evidence to suggest that many employees use their end of year break to contemplate and instigate a career or job change. Smart companies understand this phenomenon and use their end of year staff events to help re-energise staff, build relationships and engage with their employees.

When planning your end of year office party consider how you can leverage the opportunity to build stronger connections with your staff and avoid the new year departures. As well as being fun and memorable, don’t forget the main purpose of your event is to thank your employees for their efforts and achievements. Do it right and you’ll leave them with a buzz that can last for months.

Here are a few great tips on planning staff events that build employee satisfaction and engagement.

Plan Early – don’t leave it to late or you’ll find it difficult to find a suitable venue.

Share the Load – planning a successful, memorable and rewarding event takes more time and expertise than you think. Ensure you have the right resources and strongly consider investing in a professional Event Manager to take of the details and add some festive sparkle.

Involve Others – don’t just follow the CEO or MD’s directions, they may not appreciate the taste and expectations of the staff. Form a committee that represents all areas of your company to ensure you appeal to a greater cross section of staff.

Set the Date and Time – consider who is attending (are you inviting partners or including family members?). Thursdays and Fridays are popular for parties. Midweek can be cheaper and easier to find available venues, while weekends are better suited families. Also consider staff productivity the day after a midweek event!

Set the Budget – make sure your budget is consistent with your objectives and the style of event you are panning. Consider fixed and variable costs that depend on your guest numbers. Will staff contribute and/or will your HR department provide additional funding? Make sure you are aware of possible FBT implications!

Book the Venue – book early to avoid disappointment, consider the location and access to transport and parking. Make sure the venue is the right style, has the right capacity, fits your budget and offers suitable quality food and beverage.

Don’t Skimp – ensure they don’t home hungry. Make sure the menu is plentiful, has variety and is suitable to diverse cultural alternatives. Consider additional food later in the night to avoid the inevitable!

Style it Up – consider a current theme or style but don’t make it too hard for staff to prepare and enjoy. Consider theming and decor to add atmosphere or choose a venue that suits the style you have chosen.

Make it Fun – make sure there’s some entertainment and/or activities to help them mix and mingle – this may also provide a great distraction from the Bar! Whether it be roaming acts, a band or DJ, or fun games and activities, you can build your theme and create those memorable fun moments with the right mix of entertainment and activities.

Break the Ice – create an arrival experience to set the tone for an evening of fun. Consider a special arrival treat or ‘dress-up’ novelties that help them get into the spirit of the theme

Be Inclusive – don’t just have the boss speak, allow others to share their passion, achievements and reflections of the past year

Capture Their Minds – remind them of both company and individual achievements and inform them of exciting and relevant future plans. However, keep formalities short and get them over with early, so that those speaking can relax and enjoy the rest of the event. Most importantly, don’t forget to thank them all!

Award and Reward – create a mix of awards that includes all types of staff. They don’t all have to be serious but make sure they are relevant and meaningful. Consider recognising staff who have achieved outside the workplace so that everyone can share in your staff’s wider community involvement. Be creative with rewards that don’t have to cost you heaps – how about an additional weeks annual leave as an alternative incentive! Or an experience they can share with their family!

Touch Their Hearts – use the opportunity to remind staff about your community involvement, charitable activities and social programs. Consider a charity donation from the event or announce a special reward to a staff member in need.

Happy Faces – use screens placed around the venue or stage to show images of memorable moments from the year – after all, everyone likes to see familiar faces on screen.

Help Them Home – make sure they can get home safely. Consider public transport options or provide some alternatives. Be creative and organise car pooling or a designated driver campaign – you could even reimburse staff who offer to drive their mates home.

So plan early, ensure you have the resources to make the event the best it can be, and remember the event can be much more than a just a social gathering – you have the opportunity to further your company culture, build employee relationships, and remind your staff what a great workplace they have.

And to ensure success why not let Instinct Events and Entertainment produce the event for you.