Monday, December 21, 2009

The Christmas party--a ghost of Christmas past?

Does your company still host a Christmas party? I hear more clients asking about what type of backlash they think it would cause to cancel the Christmas party. My first question is always: "Is this about the money?" The answer is usually yes, but probably not why you would think. It is about the money, but not because the company doesn't have it to spend. Rather, it's about redirecting the use of those funds. For example, some companies now make donations in honor of their employees to charities (usually selected by a vote of the employees) in whatever amount has been budgeted for a Christmas party.

For some companies, donating instead of partying also makes sense because employee attendance has wained. That, in and of itself, creates an opportunity for self-exploration, but not something that we'll talk about in this post. For other companies, the donation means the likelihood of poor and unprofessional behavior is reduced, as well. Again, fertile ground for a post that will finds its way here inevitably.

Finally, some companies are doing away with parties because of economic times. And perhaps it isn't a moratorium, but rather reducing the flare, length, menu, etc of the party. In other words, it is scaled down to match the economic times.

So think about it--not having a party doesn't mean you've gone all Scrooge on your employees. And it will give them yet another reason to be proud to work for your company.

Cheers, and happy holidays!