With the Holidays still fresh in your mind, now might be a good time to start thinking about this year’s office party in advance.
You and your employees have worked hard this year. It’s only natural that you’d want to reward them for a job well done during the holiday season. With the economy being what it is, though, and after the bonus checks are handed out, you’re afraid you won’t have the budget for a giant shindig like you’ve had in years past.
First: Good for you to put your employees’ bonus checks in a priority position over spending on the holiday party!
Second: Don’t fret; there are lots of ways that you can save money on your company’s holiday party. Here are just five of them.
1. Why not have the party at the office? This will save the money on renting a space for the evening. Your employees will probably welcome the chance to hang out casually in a space that is usually reserved for more formal behavior. Didn’t you always used to like the idea of running wild in the halls at school after hours? The same urge holds true for the workplace.
2. Why not make the party a casual one instead of something more formal? This way, if you simply must get out of the office to feel festive, you have more options available to you. It’s far cheaper to reserve the back room at a pub than it is to rent a hall or ballroom or more formal space. This also has the added benefit of having “built-in” food so you won’t have to worry about catering.
3. Another great way to save money on a holiday party, especially if catering is an issue, why not have the holiday party be a potluck? Ask each person to bring a favorite dish or two in big enough portions that everybody can have a little bit. This will give your employees a chance to show off their culinary skills (allow them to buy something pre-made at the store if you know they tend to set their kitchens on fire when they try to cook). Coordinate who’s bringing what with a Google Doc so that you don’t have to worry about having fifty bags of chips and a small bowl of jell-o.
4. Have the party during the day! This gives your employees some extra time “off” and makes the expense of having the party a lot cheaper for you. Daytime parties simply cost less than evening parties. You’ll find that more spaces and catering services are available in the day as well.
5. Invite everyone to your home instead of having everybody meet somewhere. This will save the expense of renting a space and hiring a staff to make sure that everything is ready in time for the party (though if you can afford to do that, it might take some pressure off of you and your spouse). The party can be as formal or as casual as you like, and your employees will appreciate that you are opening your home to them. In addition to saving money, it has the added bonus of helping you bond!
No matter what you might have heard, it truly is possible to throw a fantastic holiday party for your employees even on an extremely limited budget. These suggestions are just a jumping-off point. How many others can you think up?
Erin Steiner is a freelance writer from Portland, Oregon, and writes about a variety of topics including (but not limited to) online reputation management strategies.