office holiday party blog cover

The office holiday party is a fun tradition that helps bring everyone closer together.

Maybe you’ll set up a gift exchange, decorate the office, or organize a potluck.

Whatever you decide to do, the holidays are always a fun time where everyone can come together and connect.

Why have an office holiday party in the first place?

Research has clearly shown1 that when we are closer to our coworkers we’re more productive at work.

We’re more willing to ask for help and to help others, exchange ideas and collaborate.

Studies show that employees with good workplace connections are more engaged, take less time off, and are less likely to quit.

Here are a few other reasons:

  1. They Can Improve Employee Engagement

    Holiday parties can create a sense of inclusion among coworkers and it shows them that you value them enough to throw them a party.

    Everyone wants to have fun at work and parties are a good way to make everyone closer.

  2. They Can Reinforce The Culture

    The theme of the party should hopefully reinforce the same values that you have as a company.

    Are you all about donating to charities? Raise some money at the party. Does your company value having fun? Throw a wild bash.

  3. They Can Show The Company Is Doing Well

    If your company has done well enough in the last year to even warrant a party, that’s a pretty good sign.

    It’s not a golden rule, but usually the better the company did, the more extravagant the party is.

    This is good for employees to see, because people are motivated to work for a successful company.

Free Bonus: Download 10 best holiday gift ideas for your employees.

The key to a successful holiday party is to have fun, but not too much fun.

But as silly as this might seem, it’s important to remember the goal of the party itself.

The goal of the office holiday party is to improve the relationship between colleagues.

It’s important not to forget this goal, and you should keep this goal in mind when planning any of your events.

Ask yourself, how can we get everyone involved and make sure that they’re bonding?

Get The Team Closer Together

Whoever is organizing the office party (whether it’s one person or a committee) needs to make a concerted effort to make sure people are becoming closer with each other.

While these types of events are meant for coworkers to bond and potentially form new connections, research has shown2 that this simply doesn’t happen.

Employees usually end up sticking with people they already know, forming groups or cliques that often alienate many employees.

One idea to improve this that I got from a coworker of mine (thanks Vanessa!) is to organize a ginger house making contest.

It’s fun, delicious, and a great team building activity.

The reason I like this activity so much is that it’s quite hard to do. Creating a shared struggle among the team is one of the best ways to facilitate bonding.

During struggle, human beings instinctively seek closer connections with each other.

Another idea could be to have a team cook breakfast for everyone else in the company. Whatever you choose, making the team work together on a tough project is the key to forming those true bonds.

Tips For The Actual Party

Once it’s time for the actual party, here are a few tips to help make sure you keep your job!

  1. Don’t Skip The Party

    Even if you don’t stay for very long, I’d recommend at least showing up. By not showing up, you’re sending the wrong signal to your company. You want to be seen as a “team player,” so if you can, don’t skip out on the event.

  2. Try To Meet People You Don’t Know

    Like I mentioned earlier, we have a natural tendency to stick with our friends and keep ourselves comfortable.

    Try your best to use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself to people who you might not know very well.

  3. Avoid Work Talk

    It’s natural to talk to coworkers about work, but try to build a relationship with people. You can talk about work when you’re at work. At the party, talk about life. Ask them about their spouse, where they live, favorite tv shows, etc.

  4. Don’t Drink Too Much

    This is an obvious one, but you don’t want to be “that guy”.

    I’m sure we all have stories about Janice from accounting who got a little too wild on the dance floor.

    Also, remember to eat before you show up.

  5. Say Thank You

    Give a special thanks to the event organizer(s) for all of the hard work that often goes unnoticed.

    They’ll really appreciate the gesture.

Any Holiday Party Tips To Share?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments! And happy holidays to everyone :)