7 Tips On How To Organise An Inclusive Office Party

If the office party you planned last year was disastrous, to say the least, then chances are you need help planning this year’s end-of-year office party. If that’s the case, consider getting in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help.

Whether you like it or not, the end-of-year office party season is already here with us. For most people, the pressure to plan an all-inclusive party can be quite frustrating. After all, an office party is an event that most employees anticipate as they get to relax and enjoy spending time with their colleagues in an informal setting as they celebrate the year’s successes. However, for those tasked with organizing an office party, this is an event that could trigger feelings of nervousness, stress, and anxiety.

It is easy to get all caught up in the excitement of planning for such an event that some of the issues that could arise during or after the event are overlooked. As an administrator, it is vital to ensure that such events are inclusive for the entire team and enjoyable.

Understanding some of the pitfalls that could arise is essential in planning a successful office party. Here are seven tips for you to consider as you do your best to organize an end-of-year office party that everyone in your office will enjoy and remember.

1. Make Sure the Title You Choose is All-Inclusive

The “Christmas Party” is characteristically the only time in the year when everybody from your company gets together in a social setting. And while Christmas parties are held around Christmas time as the final major event to close off the year, they, by and large, have very little to do with spiritual or religious activities. 

Some organizations have started calling them “Holiday” or “Festive” parties to make them more inclusive for other religions. After all, they are all about the company’s employees and executives coming together to socialize, interact, and celebrate their achievements for the year and are generally not centered around any one theme. Get everything you need for your party at Premier Glow.

2. Lead by Example

As administrators, we sometimes forget that other people are looking to/at us to see how we behave and respond in social situations. And while you are not there to keep an eye on others, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the environment is relaxed, and that everyone is comfortable, feels included, and is enjoying the event. Nevertheless, you still need to be on the lookout for workers who aren’t part of any ‘in groups’, and who seem to be sidelined from the social interactions that are taking place.

3. Enjoy Responsibly

When planning for an end-of-year party, do your best to ensure that it doesn’t end up becoming a career-threatening, alcohol-fueled event. You don’t want to see one of your colleagues standing on a table with a drink in hand and shouting obscenities. Your end-of-year office party should be an event that your colleagues remember and talk about fondly and aren’t embarrassed about. Your workers shouldn’t feel like they are being pressured to drink by anyone in the office – and that includes you. Also, keep in mind that some workers do not drink or are avoiding alcohol – whatever the case, each employee’s decision needs to be respected.

Office parties are a great time for people who’ve worked very hard together all year round to loosen up a bit and get to spend time with their colleagues in an informal setting. However, from a well-being and health perspective, you still need to set the tone for what behaviors are acceptable and which are not. This is one skill that managers need to create positive workplace cultures around mental wellbeing and health.

Most office parties end up becoming infamous for one reason – in most cases, it’s because things went out of control. That is why a majority of organizations today are hosting end-of-year offices parties that do not involve alcohol with others opting to throw dinner parties for their workers or sending them to an escape room for a night of fun. 

4. Make Sure Your Event is Fair for All

Holding a party late in the day will mean that those with out-of-work responsibilities such as child-care will not attend or won’t stay for long. For others, it could cause them to feel anxious about how others perceive them. “What will other people say about me if I don’t attend?” can be a source of great concern. Some workers may stress about missing the party as they don’t want to be viewed as not being ‘team players’ by their fellow workers. Some even go to the extremes of thinking that they may lose their jobs if they do not attend the party. Holding a party during working hours or at lunchtime will mean everyone in your office gets the opportunity to attend the event and participate. It’s not a requirement that end-of-year parties are exclusively held at night. 

5. Consider the Cost

Financial security is one of the things that causes stress among employees during the end-of-year parties. Throwing an expensive party that’s paid for by the organization may not go down well with your workers especially if you’ve told them that the company is going through hard times. For some workers, attending a big event could cause unnecessary pressure as they have to think about hiring a babysitter, spending on overnight accommodation, or buying an impressive new outfit that allows them to look the part. As such, when planning your office party, make sure your budget is reasonable and fair for all. 

Rather than host an expensive party, why not run a smaller-sized one or give your workers a thank you bonus or gift as appreciation for their dedication and hard work. Extravagance doesn’t necessarily mean that you throw the staff party of the century.

6. Consider Other Office Events That You Could Celebrate Later

Christmas time is a period when our diaries are all taken up with celebrations, events, and parties. However, as mentioned earlier, that does mean that you have to be religious for you to get into the festive mood. Remember, there are many other religious holidays like Eid for Muslims, Hanukkah for Jewish people, and Bodhi Day for Buddhists that often go unnoticed and unmentioned in most workplaces. Paying tribute to other events and calendar dates like LGBT Pride Month or Black History Month could help cultivate a more inclusive and diverse workplace culture that is not entirely based around a single form or type of socializing.

If your company only ever hosts social events on one ‘big night’ each year, then that could end up turning into a big thing.  Smaller but frequent events allow workers to bond without the stress of the “big night” weighing down on them. For instance, volunteering days are a great way for employees to bond outside the work setting. Hosting parties in commemoration of some of the events mentioned could help ensure your employees feel valued and celebrated. The Diversity and Inclusion Training Course is the perfect opportunity for you to listen and talk to our diversity consultants about improving your company’s diversity and inclusion.

7. Remember to Have a Good Time Too

Nothing’s worse than attending an end-of-year office party and being unable to enjoy yourself because your manager is present. Most workers feel that they have to be all formal and must act professionally when in the presence of their bosses or those above them. However, that shouldn’t be the case. When you let your guard down and socialize as a colleague instead of a manager, it will help your employees relax and mingle, allowing them to enjoy the event. And besides, even though you are a manager, remember that you are human too and should allow yourself to have some fun as well!