Why Christmas parties are a great time to recognise staff

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Adam Kreuzer, Dorfen Health Services

Christmas is a splendid time of the year. After a year of tense expressions and terse comments, people’s faces seem to lift mysteriously, and the smiles come more readily as they start to relax. Employees are in a more joyful mood – they’ve finished the projects or the work they thought they would never get through –so there’s nothing left but to be merry.

But, oh no! The Fun Police has arrived. Christmas is not known as the silly season for nothing. Research has found it’s also the time of the year when people get into trouble. Too often Christmas parties are arranged, and staff members clown around, get drunk and do things they wouldn’t normally do.

Companies can be smart about how they plan Christmas parties to avoid all the drama that can result from that time of the year when people most often end up in strife, leaving a sour taste for management to have to overcome.

Christmas parties are a great opportunity to bring staff together and to position it as a reward and recognition event, communicating upfront in a written format what is expected from all staff members in behaviour and conduct before, during and after the event.

There are some real flow on benefits around a recognition Christmas event other than togetherness, engagement and connection.

It’s a great time to think about what everyone has done throughout the year, looking at some of the achievements, examples of where staff have gone beyond the call of duty or examples of exemplary customer service and innovation.

Thought needs to be given to how employees are recognised so that no one is excluded, especially in the scenario of small businesses if there are only a few staff members and everyone is recognised but one.

There is some real flow on benefits around a recognition Christmas event other than togetherness, engagement and connection. By recognising individuals in front of their peers, there is no better way for a staff member to go off on holidays over the Christmas break. It’s also a good chance for the management team to give its leadership message on how the year has gone and closing out the year from a workplace cultural perspective.

By setting firm boundaries upfront and positioning the Christmas party as a recognition event, employees are less likely to muck up and everyone, including management, will be more likely to enjoy themselves.

For more information, please contact:

Adam Kreuzer
Registered Counsellor and Mental Health Advisor
Dorfen Health Services
Phone: 1300 45 91 51
Email: info@dorfen.com.au

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