It can be difficult to find a moment for yourself during the holiday season, especially when you work in retail. As a result, it's near impossible to get a group of people together during the month of December. 'Tis the season for showing appreciation and giving thanks, but there may not be time to before the new year.
Many businesses host holiday parties for their employees, where staff are treated to dinner, drinks and dancing. Although not every company gathering is so formal, any effort to show your employees that they're valued members of the team can go a long way. However, you're in the midst of your busiest season, so it might be best to postpone the party until after New Year's. As you transition from 2014 to 2015, you may want to formulate a plan for post-holiday celebration that spoils your employees.
Why is employee appreciation important?
On the surface, throwing a party for your employees might seem like an expense that you can't afford. It's an up-front cost that may not bring about immediate changes in the environment. But when you consider how powerful and influential employee satisfaction is, it's clear that signs of appreciation are worth the financial loss in the end.
Business Insider explained how creating a culture of recognition that includes feedback and appreciation is a great way to retain employees and increase their engagement. As they put more passion and energy into customer interactions, you can see how the satisfaction levels of your staff plays into the happiness of your patrons. According to the source, employees do their best work when they know the effort is being observed and praised.
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that both productivity and sales can jump by more than 30 percent when employees feel valued. Additionally, staff are three times as creative when they feel appreciated, in comparison to a more negative company atmosphere. This boost in creativity could mean great things for your upcoming store displays and floor resets.
How should you begin planning?
- Location: For some businesses, it's easy and logical to host the annual party at the store. Perhaps your displays can add to the atmosphere and you don't have many store fixtures, so there's plenty of space. If that doesn't work for your business, brainstorm other venues for the company party. You can often rent a bar or restaurant for a few hours, which can really make a difference by offering an alternative setting to the workplace. Hosting the party at an establishment can also take care of the next item on the list – what kind of food to serve.
- Food: If you plan on serving dinner at your company party, consider hiring a caterer or ordering a large quantity of takeout food. A potluck dinner may work as well, where every employee contributes a different dish. It might be impractical to buy dinner for the employee party, depending on how large your staff is. In that case, make sure to serve appetizers or snacks throughout the night.
- Attire: Consider hosting a semiformal employee gathering, even if it's just in the store. While there will inevitably be people who don't enjoy getting fancy, the dress code helps to make the event special.
- Music: Do you think the people on your staff enjoy dancing? If so, you may want to hire a DJ or band to provide music for the evening. Local cover bands are a fun option, but a DJ might appeal to more people's tastes.