Maximize Team Bonding at Your Next Holiday Party

’Tis the season: Holiday gatherings abound, and your year-end company party is no exception. The Elvis impersonator is singing and team members are mingling, but there’s a lot more to the celebration than simply having a good time.

These days, corporate holiday parties are designed to promote team bonding.

According to research conducted by staffing firm OfficeTeam, 93% of senior managers plan to host a company holiday celebration this year. Why not leverage your event by throwing some teambuilding activities into the mix? Here are some strategies to strengthen relationships at your holiday party:

Plan the event well in advance

It can be challenging to work around employees’ jam-packed schedules—but there’s a simple solution. First, start by choosing a date for your holiday party based on your team members’ availability. Fridays are ideal, or another weekday if that isn’t an option, since holiday weekends tend to get busy.

The next step is to determine who will be invited to the party. Note that limiting the guest list to employees—without the option of bringing a plus-one—will ensure attendees interact with their colleagues rather than their coworkers’ guests.

Schedule group activities or a special outing

Party games like charades and holiday-themed trivia allow team members to build camaraderie in a low-stress environment, which translates to more seamless collaboration back at the office. Similarly, outings like rock-climbing and sailing force employees to rely on one another and work together toward a common goal.

Keep in mind that the event should be tailored to the size of the company. Large organizations may choose to plan team-oriented activities during the day—perhaps a holiday card exchange or a cookie-decorating contest—before the bigger, companywide event. Small organizations, meanwhile, can plan for a more intimate affair with activities and an outing rolled into one.

Document the occasion with photos and video

You may not think to document your holiday party, but doing so can have lasting effects on team relationships. Hiring a photographer or videographer to capture the event, or renting a photo booth with a festive backdrop and themed props (think Rudolph’s red nose and some tinsel), will remind employees of the positive interactions they enjoyed.

No matter your approach, photos and footage from the holiday party can be shared online after the event, or at a future staff meeting to boost team morale.

Celebrate team and individual achievements

Chances are you want to end your company holiday party on a high note. What better way to do so than by celebrating both group and personal achievements? Awards ranging from serious (“Most Sales Closed”) to silly (“Ugliest Holiday Sweater”), and even presents—perhaps by way of a gift exchange—can bring teams closer together.

In short, team members want to be recognized for their successes. By thanking employees for their hard work, managers can help to reduce burnout and ultimately enhance the way their teams interact and collaborate.

Still planning your corporate team bonding holiday event? Come celebrate your company with us at our future tech escape rooms in downtown San Francisco (SOMA). Our interactive event space and immersive Sci-Fi experiences will keep you cozy while strengthening their bonds in no time!

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