IMG_1313Whilst it should really be the season to be jolly the annual Christmas shin-dig can cause create quite a few HR headaches not all of which can be solved with an aspirin and a bacon sarnie the next day.

Yes it’s a great way to thank and reward your team, encourage colleagues to get to know each other better and build loyalty at your company but the often alcohol-fuelled festivities can be a ticking HR time bomb – with politics, gossip and old grievances rearing their ugly heads not to mention (old joke -sorry!)inappropriate photocopier behaviour.

In August 2015, Poptop conducted a survey of 1000 UK workers which revealed that only 43% of employees were planning to attend their Christmas party this year.  So with employees less interested in the traditional dinner and drinks approach, coupled with an increasing onus on employers to act responsibly when it comes to rewarding with alcohol is it worth a re-think when planning your Christmas event this year?

Here’s a few different approaches to consider:

Create Something
Get your team to work together to create something bespoke to them.
Whether it’s a Corporate Calendar, a Christmas Single or a Panto in a Day everyone will play to their strengths as individuals but also excel by working together. These experiences demonstrate to your team that as a unit, they can learn any new skill through developing trust, mutual support and utilising each other’s strengths and skills.

Learn Something
There are loads of fantastic opportunities out there for your team to try something new or develop new creative skills. A lunchtime programme of taster workshops for example would be really appreciated by aspiring photographers, comedians, DJs, artists or poets in your team (to mention just a few). By giving them opportunities to shine and think differently this strengthens their creative muscle making them more creative and innovative in their day to day problem solving.

Give Something
It is the reason for the season – so is there something your team could do to give-back over the Christmas period? Most charities have some kind of Christmas campaign that you can support or look for something really relevant to your team. What about a Great Christmas bake off to find your champion mince pie baker or form a corporate choir which can perform in your foyer or for your customers? Giving your team the time to contribute in this way improves morale through a shared fun experience with purpose.

The key to rewarding and engaging your staff is never about the free food and drink but demonstrating that you care about them, that you know what makes them tick and that you’re prepared to go that extra mile to say thank you.


Heather Carr is Director of Ten Minutes More. Ten Minutes More helps businesses creates outstanding teams and working environments where individuals ‘show-up’ and want to give and be more.


It is not too late to plan your off holiday party!

We hope we can help with any upcoming events that you are having.  Please let me know if you are planning something and I can get a proposal together for you.  We book up pretty quickly for the Holidays or Spring so it is never too early to start planning!