When covid made hosting work parties impossible, many wondered whether companies would take the chance to save a bit of money and stop holding staff parties altogether. A possibility that was even more likely given the fact that many of the workforce were home-based. But it seems that the office Christmas party is here to stay as a time-honored way to foster strong team building activities.

According to the global outplacement, business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., which operates in 79 countries, 64.4% of firms hosted in-person parties in 2023. The most since 2018. So it is fairly safe to say that most Christmas party venues will be booked up fast, this year too.

Below, we look at why despite finances being tight most companies are still opting to treat their staff to a party at the end of the year.

Festive parties improve staff retention rates

When BMG asked 1000 employees how valued their boss hosting a party for them made them feel, 66% chose a 7+ out of 10 rating. A study by the HR consulting firm Aon Hewitt found that turnover fell by 31% when people felt appreciated. Recruiting a new member of staff and training is extremely expensive, so anything that can be done to keep them happy is worth doing.

Young employees enjoy these parties

Interestingly, that same BMG study showed that younger workers appreciated these parties more, which is important. Currently, in most countries, there are not enough young people ready and able to step into the roles filled by Baby Boomers and Generation X. So, anything a company can do to attract and retain younger people is worthwhile.

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Staff parties and events improve team culture

Employees who have strong social ties are more likely to stay with a company longer. They feel a higher level of loyalty to their teammates and tend to enjoy the time they spend working with them. Something that enhances workplace harmony and improves productivity.

Work parties provide people with the chance to network

In the past, department-level Christmas parties were the norm. Recently, more companies have started to host one big event. This usually works out to be cheaper per head. But, more importantly, it improves inter-departmental connections. People get to meet face to face, have fun and get to know each other. It also provides employees with the chance to network with others. This opens their eyes to just how many opportunities are available to them in other departments. Something that, in turn, improves staff retention rates.

They give people at different levels of the business the chance to mix and get to know each other on a personal level. That is good for everyone.

Christmas parties do not have to be expensive

The ROI on a Christmas party is high and the less you spend on it, the better the return is for team building. Here are 5 ways to keep the costs down without ruining the vibe or making it seem that you are doing the bare minimum.

Combine it with another event

If you are a company that holds a summer party and one for the holidays, consider combining the two events.

Scrap department-level parties

Instead of paying for several department-level events, hold one big party. Typically, this works out to be far cheaper per head.

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Shop around for a venue

Be open-minded about the type of venue you hire and shop around for the best deal. This is easy to do online.

Book early

Generally speaking, the earlier you book the more you will save. Most venues offer significant discounts and only ask for a small deposit.

Consider holding the party a little earlier or later in the year

Booking a venue outside of December or the first week of January is a good way to save money. Most venues will decorate the room however you want and happily provide a festive meal.

Holiday team building activities for unity

In a world where people feel increasingly alone and under-appreciated, the company party is an increasingly important event. It is very much a win-win for both employers and employees.