For many employees, checking the professional conduct at the door in favor of a laidback party attitude can be an awkward transition. To avoid any uneasiness and facilitate the fun, here are 5 simple ways to make your corporate event feel less daunting, and more enjoyable.
1. Spice up your invites.
Don’t announce the company’s holiday party in the same format you’d use to announce the performance review. If you want to put your employees in a more outgoing mood, set the tone from the beginning. Even if you make an email adjustment as simple as a change in font style and color, you’re making a subtle statement as to the shift in dynamic, and you’re setting an example that it’s okay to relax.
2. Think local.
This is especially relevant for employees of global or national companies who may feel like one smaller branch of their larger corporate tree. Let them know you’re proud of what they bring to that bigger table! You can celebrate your area in small ways- serve craft beer from a local brewery or dessert from the neighborhood bakery, for example. This special effort sends a message of pride to your employees.
3. Sometimes, the more really is the merrier.
For more introverted invitees, the opportunity to bring a date or friend can make all the difference in the world. Although workplace friendships are common for many people, some of your workers may not be especially close with their colleagues, and may be anxious as to who they’ll hang with for the night. So if your budget allows for it, let them know they’re welcome to bring a date or friend. Not only will your employees feel more at ease knowing they’re allowed a plus 1, including some outside guests could likely facilitate more interesting conversation overall as new people are introduced to the team.
4. Plan your playlist.
Unless your event is being hosted in a restaurant or a place that’ll already be providing the music, you should plan to coordinate some on your own. Consider passing a sheet around the office a few days prior and asking your coworkers to jot down their favorite songs. You can turn those picks into a fun company playlist for the night of- which can also serve as a cool conversation piece as your colleagues learn about one another’s’ taste in tunes.
5. Get your team involved!
The most obvious way to ensure your guests’ good time is to ask their input during the planning process. Were you thinking about grabbing some games to bring to your office’s holiday hang? Pass out a poll to see if they’d rather play poker or ping pong. By reaching out in small ways, you’ll make the office feel less anxious and more included in the fun.