News from ISSBA
Friday, 12 October 2018 10:02

Planning your work Christmas party

Anglia Karting share their advice on navigating the minefield that is organising the work Christmas party.

It’s that time of the year again when everyone’s thoughts start to reluctantly turn towards Christmas and with that the discussions around the work Christmas party become ever more present in theAnglia Karting work environment. It can be a difficult route to navigate sometimes, with varying ages, interests and opinions to consider but if done well it’s a great opportunity to thank and develop your team.

Socialising together as team is a great way to increase morale, build relationships, break down barriers and ultimately increase productivity. When people feel comfortable with each other they are more open to discuss issues and work together to solve work based problems.

So how do we navigate the potential minefield and ensure our employees feel valued in the process and the event itself?

Ask for feedback on previous Christmas Party events – it can be easy to get into a rut of doing the same thing year in year out – that may be because it is appropriate but don’t assume that. Check with your employees on what they thought about the type of event, the location and the format. You may be surprised by the feedback. 

Anglia Karting 1Set the date and time – consider employees schedules, would anyone be required to work the next day, is there a factory shutdown? Is the event to be held during the day/evening or both? In some businesses like ours where Christmas is the peak time delaying the Christmas Party until January is appropriate to ensure that everyone can attend.

Decide on the type of party – is a whole business approach appropriate or would a department event be more suitable? Is it to be for employees only or is it to include their partners? 

Ask employees for suggestions – in a large organisation a working group may need to be put together either, in a smaller one a simple feedback method would suffice. Ask employees their views on style and format of event or for specific venue/ activity suggestions. Ensure they are aware of the parameters re budget, location etc. Consider alternatives to the traditional Christmas meal. Team building activities lead to employees having a better understanding each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests, which in turn helps them work even better together on future projects vital to a company. Competition has been shown to increase production. So, by channelling that increased production into a fun, inclusive team building activity, employees can bond in a way impossible by other means. There are lots of options out there now which means as a business we can develop our staff while they have a fantastic fun time. Locally we have escape rooms, paintballing (our staff groups favourite option!), gin tasting, cocktail making – even karting! 

Budget – be clear about what the company is paying for – no one wants unexpected bills on the night or the bar tab to run out in the first hour unexpectedly. If employees are being expected to contribute then it’s important that they know this! Consider using drinks vouchers or a similar system to manage the budget better.

Check the availability of the preferred option(s) and book it! Remember venues can be booked months in advance and Christmas is a Peak time. Notify your employees well in advance to ensure aAnglia Karting 3 great turn out.

Transport – again be clear if this is to be organised by the company or if staff are to travel independently

Have a point of contact/coordinator for the event. From the venue's point of view this is vital and will ensure the event is planned effectively and runs smoothly. Having a point of contact for the staff on the day is also helpful …people get lost or may be ill and unable to make it at the last minute and this ensures the rest of the group are not waiting around needlessly.

Celebrate the team’s achievements and successes – It’s a great opportunity to physically and visibly thank your team and recognising their achievements can motivate employees to bring their job to the next level. HOWEVER, don’t make the mistake of turning the vent into a drawn out awards ceremony. Keep any speech/ awards brief, do them at an appropriate point and don’t detract from the main purpose of your event:                             

Having fun with your team!

We look forward to seeing you at the ISSBA networking event on Thursday 18th October where you can find out more about the team building and Christmas Party events we offer.

If you'd like to book an event with us, please visit our website, call us on 01473 240087 or email us on

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