How to throw a casual and successful office party

Part of retaining your top workers is regularly recognizing all the effort they put into your organization. Daily emails or memos offering thanks are great, simple ways to show you care, but it is also important to formally acknowledge your team’s hard work. An excellent and affordable way to do this is by throwing casual office parties. Choose one Friday every month and assemble your workforce for food, mingling, and awards. Unsure where to begin planning your celebration? Use these tips to get started.

Work with what you have 

While renting out a venue is great for formal holiday events or major corporate celebrations, these monthly get-togethers can be held in your workplace. Try to choose an out-of-the-ordinary spot, and don’t be afraid to get creative! Break rooms and large conference spaces work well, but if your building has a spacious atrium or foyer, consider putting it to good use. Removing the party ever so slightly from a formal work setting will help people relax and unwind, and you will not have to worry about your celebration being a disturbance to people who are still trying to get some work done. An outdoor space can also be a great option when the weather is nice. NuWire Investor suggested putting up a few easy decorations to enhance the ambiance even further.

Get some grub 

Since you are not spending money renting an outside venue, buy plenty of food for your workers to snack on while they mingle and relax. Rachael Ray suggested choosing a theme and letting that inform your menu. Since these gatherings are casual, there is no need to go over-the-top. Picnic and carnival themes are great for this type of event. You can serve hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, and cotton candy. These foods are crowd-pleasers and budget-friendly. NuWire Investor suggested stepping outside the box even further by hosting a brunch or luncheon instead of an after-work gathering. For this type of party, bagel platters or simple sandwiches work well. If your workers are a close-knit team, consider making the party a pot-luck.

Recognize and reward 

While the party itself is a reward, make each gathering a recognition ceremony as well. If your employees know that they may be acknowledged in front of their peers once a month, they will feel motivated to do their best all the time. Once everyone has had plenty of time to eat, drink and mingle, quiet the room for awards. Instead of making them about specific achievements, look at everyone’s general performance for that month and see which worker deserves the spotlight. Perhaps some of your employees had to deal with difficult clients all month, and though they accomplished less than everyone else they displayed outstanding efforts and leadership skills. Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work by honoring them with custom trophies.

By: Seth Fine