Who doesn’t like a party? Parties are fun! There’s music, food, laughter, and great conversation. No wonder most everyone enjoys a good party.

Your office holiday party, which typically occurs during work hours, is double the fun. Instead of being paid to work, employees are being paid to not work. How cool is that? Still, there are a few things your employees would appreciate more than a holiday party. Read on for the top 5.

A Real Vacation

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 76 percent of professionals in private industry receive some paid vacation. And yet, stories about overworked Americans abound.

The Great Recession is to blame for some of this. Consider that many employees are still doing jobs previously performed by two people or more.

Technology is another culprit. Smartphones ensure that we’re plugged in virtually 24/7. We regularly send, receive, and respond to email messages off the clock. We manage to stay in touch but at the cost of precious downtime.

The bottom line? Your employees would like real time away from work without having to think about who needs what at the office or whether you’ll be displeased at the inconvenience of their absence. So, if you’re one of those managers with a reputation for piling it on and then looking sideways at your employees when they announce plans to be elsewhere, consider the costs, please. This tactic may work in the short term, but in the long term it’ll lead to burnout, workplace stress, resentment, reduced productivity, and lower quality. 

A Holiday Bonus

A recent poll of more than 500 US HR and hiring managers revealed that two thirds of companies plan to give holiday bonuses this year, with the average amount expected to be $858.

As a sign of employer gratitude, nothing says “thanks” quite like cash, and employees always take notice when a company puts its money where its mouth is.

Decent Management

Good managers are so hard to come by, and they’re so very needed. If you’ve been hanging onto leaders who micromanage, create bottlenecks, or even abuse their staff, you’re doing your company a great disservice. Either coach these managers to greater performance or let them go. An annual holiday party can’t make up for the indignity of daily bad management. 

Trust

Trust is an essential quality for any healthy relationship and that includes work relationships. Your employees will do their best work when they believe they have your confidence. Every employee needs room to take some risks and make some mistakes, so don’t hesitate to give your staff space to do things their way. It’s like they say: The best managers hire good people and then get out of their way.

Attention

Talented employees don’t need their hands held, but most welcome a little attention every now and again.

In general, employees like to know they’re doing what you want to the standard you want and that their work is making a positive impact on the company. That’s why managers who provide regular performance feedback and are otherwise available to give guidance and support without micromanaging are considered golden by their staff.

In Summary …

Holiday parties are a positive expression of a company’s appreciation of staff, and most employees enjoy these celebrations very much.

That said, nothing makes an employee smile quite like cash, and more important, a party (no matter how fabulous) can’t compensate for a bad manager, a lack of trust, or a lack of regular and constructive feedback.

 

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Freelance Writer, Editor, and HR Consultant in Philly. You can find more of Crystal's work at: www.crystalspraggins.blogspot.com

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