Don't be a Scrooge with corporate holiday parties

4 tips for low-cost, morale-boosting parties
||Last Updated: 12/07/2010

The recession has led to many employers looking for ways to cut back and save money. For the past couple of years, holiday parties and other celebratory events were the victims of these cost-cutting measures.

But this was a big mistake, according to Bob Kelleher, CEO of The Employee Engagement Group and author of Louder than Words: 10 Practical Employee Engagement Steps that Drive Results.

"During recessionary times, when companies are cutting back and laying off employees, the survivors need a pick me up more than ever,” said Kelleher.

As the economy picks up, companies can ease employee stress and boost engagement by bringing back the traditional holiday party — even if it's slightly scaled down from pre-recession years, said Kelleher.

Tips for hosting low-cost holiday events:

Have an in-office holiday celebration and invite families to attend. Family involvement creates a more community-focused work environment and shows employees you care about them.

Host an active or theme holiday party – bowling, theme nights, museum night, volunteering to do a group charitable event, outdoor winterfest serving hot cider, etc.

Use the holiday event as a time to thank employees for their ongoing efforts and commitment during the past year.

Instead of sending out holiday gifts to clients, make a charitable donation in the name of your employees and clients (to boost engagement, have a contest so your employees can select the charities). Announce the donation via an e-card and be environmentally friendly while saving money.

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