Planning Your Work's Christmas Party? Here's How To Do It...

Posted in Incentive and Recognition, Rewards and Incentives, Retain Talent, Employee Events, Positive workplace environment, Company Events, People Management, Retaining Employees, Staff Events, Engagement at Work, Celebrations, Awards and Events, Gifts and Rewards

by Iain Thomson on Oct 30, 2018 2:15:21 PM

Christmas is one of those times of year, where aside from the birth of Jesus Christ of course, food takes centre stage for a lot of people.

For those who have been counting the calories all year or only having the occasional treat, the Christmas break becomes a non-stop carnival of food favourites. Roast dinners, party nibbles, pigs in blankets, cheese… Oh my, the cheese… And we’ve not even gotten started on the drinks… For your average foodie, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of year.

This non-stop conveyer of tasty treats usually starts with the work’s Christmas party. It’s the perfect opportunity for the workforce to be rewarded for their hard work throughout the year, plus it’s a chance to get together with the people you spend the majority of your working weeks with and kick back in a more relaxed, fun environment.

However, if you’re the one organising your company’s Christmas party, it can be a bit of a nightmare! Depending on the size of your business, there’s a whole lot of things to consider: the venue, the menus, the cost, the timings, the admin… Suddenly, the prospect of ‘fun’ seems very far off indeed!


If you’ve ever had to book a venue for any large group of people, you’ll know it can be a proper pain to get somewhere that’s A: easy to reach, B: able to accommodate large groups and C: available. To negate the chances of all your first-choice venues being booked, the sooner somewhere is organised, the less you can stress! Oh, that rhymed. Nice.

The ideal venue should be a relaxed and festive environment that creates a feeling of openness and comfort for your staff to enjoy. Now of course, you’ll most likely know the local hotspots which can accommodate your group, but if booking a venue isn’t possible, there’s always the workplace itself.


If you need to hold your Christmas party a little closer to home (or work in this instance) then you can always have it in your workplace. Whilst this might take a little of the gloss off the event, you can still make an office or workplace-based party feel that little bit special.

Have a dress code, encourage your employees to get their glad rags on for the day, or better still, how about some bad Christmas jumpers instead?

Perhaps plan a Christmas quiz, Secret Santa or seasonal raffle that’ll get everyone talking and interacting together, too. Don’t skimp on the decorations either! Give the workplace an extra special feel on the day to get everyone in the festive mood.

If you can, try to hold your get together at the end of the working day or at the end of the week. Everyone likes to enjoy themselves at a party – responsibly of course – so giving your workforce the opportunity to let their hair down and not have to worry about returning to work later in the day or the next morning is a real incentive to join in with the fun.


Usually, an office party can be a great way to promote a healthy work culture, and no party is complete without delicious food and drinks. This is where you’ll probably need to do a little research beforehand to ensure inclusivity. It may be the case that there are workers who have specific dietary requirements, so make an effort to include options that can cater for everyone, and don’t just resort to cocktail sausages and crisps.

Keep any buffet food bite size and therefore reduce the need for cutlery (be eco-friendly and save plastic waste), and paper plates (again save paper waste). Your organisation may well decide to bring in caterers who serve their dishes on fine bone china and silver cutlery, and this is fantastic as they will probably take away the dirties, budget depending.

What should you offer to drink? It’s always nice to have a little fizz on offer to make things that extra-bit special, and being able to offer some wine or beer will certainly encourage people to come along, too! But also ensure there’s plenty of non-alcoholic options, too.

If you are throwing alcohol into the mix of your Christmas party, then always make sure you set some ground rules to ensure your party doesn’t get too wild. And finally, make sure that at the end of the event that people have arranged to get home safely if they have enjoyed some festive cheer; either via pre-booked taxis or a lift home from a designated driver.


Finally, this is the time to say 'Thank you' to your hard working employees for all their efforts over the course of the year - and it doesn't have to break the bank, either! A little reward such as a voucher or e-code really will resonate with your staff and allow them to get themselves a little something just for themselves. After all, Christmas is all about giving...


Not sure where to start when it comes to having an inclusive workplace culture? Don’t worry – we can help! Check out our free online guide: The Essential Guide to Festive Motivation, Incentives and Rewards via the link below and get the full lowdown on what you can do to build a workplace culture that works for everyone at Christmas!

Download Your Free Festive Motivation Cheat Sheet


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