The Ritualistic Christmas Party
Now that the holidays are here, there is usually many holiday parties. Some are big, some are small, some are fun and some are horrible.
Several years ago, a senior executive in a firm elected not to have a Christmas party. He told the senior staff that there would be no party this particular year. Company performance, though not sterling was above average, with some small spurts of profitability!
All of the senior staff elected to attend and participate in other events until the call came from the bosses’ secretary asking, “What would like to have for dinner on Thursday?” Huh, “What is going on Thursday” was the question? The question was repeated a second time. The secretary, feigning surprise tried her best cover up the great faux pas of her boss. Everyone elected something to eat and attended the function.
Was the function fun and exciting? Well, you can guess that the answer was NO, not really, it was not. Well, why not?
Here is the “rest of the story.” The bosses’ wife had told everyone that the party was going to happen and she was looking forward to visiting with everyone. She had made it a point in the 3 weeks before the date to see many folks and share how excited she was about the party. Sadly, the boss had failed to tell her that he elected not have a party that particular year.
OK, if you are the boss– decide if you are going to have a party. It does not need to be expensive or extravagant. Your people will know if you really enjoy the party or are just “going through the motions.” Hopefully, you will have as much fun as the employees have.
I recall one business owner who had a wonderful employee party at a local hotel. The food was good, his wife passed out many gifts and several employees were rewarded for their terms of service. This was a fun Christmas party to attend. Everyone enjoyed themselves.
The parties that are no fun for anyone are the ones that nobody wants to attend, nobody has a fun time and there is some unwritten “expectation” on attending. It is far better to do nothing than do something that nobody enjoys! For many, this is the only time of the year that they go out for a fun time. If you are the boss, make it fun for all– you will be amazed at how many folks will appreciate your thoughtfulness.