Keeping the Office Fun With Holiday Parties

Office parties are a great way to increase unity and productivity at work.In an office setting it is important to balance the relationships and try and keep things positive.  In a single workplace the employees come from all walks of life and their different ages, cultures, and backgrounds will influence who they are.  These differences and sometimes cause awkwardness or contention among employees.  A negative work environment will have a bad impact on the workplace, so working on building unity is essential.  A great way to build unity is through holding holiday parties at the office.

There are so many holidays throughout the year that it is easy to pick a few dispersed about equal distances apart and create holiday traditions.  Some obvious holidays are Halloween, Christmas, Easter, the 4th of July.  Other holidays that could be used are Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.  You could even pick more holidays or other events like birthdays to celebrate, and simply institute a small tradition for some of the in-between ones and bigger traditions for other holidays. Remember that there is a nice balance between increasing productivity and wasting time when dealing with office parties, so you need to have parties often enough to keep spirits high and employees engaged, but not too often where you are losing valuable work time and employees are less productive.

Christmas is the most obvious and most often celebrated holiday at work.  You can do many things including decorating with Christmas lights – white lights can be especially calming for employees.  Some other ideas are holding a Christmas party in which you can have karaoke, an appearance by Santa Clause, a white elephant gift exchange, and some nice snacks.  If you have a bigger budget in your company you could have dinner and door prizes for your employees.

Halloween is another fun holiday that many companies overlook.  It is good for the adults to get out of their element and dress up for fun events.  Some adult Halloween costume ideas include movie themed characters (such a Davy Jones from the Pirates movies), cartoon characters (such as Homer Simpson), presidents, etc.  Halloween parties can really get the employees laughing and enjoying each others company.

The 4th of July is a great time to have a party outside of the office.  Hold a pool party, a barbeque, etc.  Get your employees outside, eating, and participating in some fun activities.  Frisbee, obstacle courses, etc. are great ideas for getting your employees enjoying their time together.  You can also easily invite family members to events like this.

Some fun holidays are Valentines Day and St Patrick’s Day.  You can decorate silly little brown paper bags and deliver valentines to The Office Christmas Partyeach other.  You and offer cookies or cupcakes to your employees at a little lunch break type appreciation party.  St. Patrick’s Day would be a fun holiday in which to get everyone wearing green.  Offer 4 leaf clover buttons/pins so that no one gets pinched.  Offer a pot of gold in the break room (popcorn, chocolate wrapped in gold foil, etc.).

Get creative and get your employees excited about the holidays and feeling appreciated.  When you employees feel appreciated and have their spirits lifted they are going to perform better and have a higher quality of work.  They try harder to get to work on time and show you that they can be responsible.  A happy work environment is a great one.

Get Your Invention on the Market with the Big Ideas Worldwide Invention Contest!

Thomas Edison built the world's first large-sc...

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison was quoted as saying that genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Inventors put in countless hours developing their inventions, but often the hardest work is getting the invention to market. So how can inventors and small businesses get help?

The Big Ideas Worldwide Invention Contest

During the month of February xClosure is running a national search campaign to find 5 products to market nationally. Winning the contest involves 3 steps:

  1. Fill out the application here before March 1st
  2. 10 finalists will present in person or via the web to a panel of live judges on March 21st
  3. 5 winners will be selected to have their product marketed

This is an opportunity to tap into the talent of an experienced marketing team. All product descriptions, details and files submitted are protected under a mutual NDA/non-compete/non-circumvent agreement to protect your idea and product.

So take 10 minutes to fill out the application at http://www.xclosure.com/application-page and good luck!

Back Your Business with a Strong Team

Building a Strong TeamA business is only as strong as the team behind it.  Want to boost your business? Then boost your team. Here’s how to start:

First of all, it is vital for your employees to understand the purpose or mission of the company. Be sure it is clear what the big picture is and how each employee’s position helps to accomplish it. This should be done from the time of the first interview. Be sure that the company’s mission statement is visible. It feels good to know what your company is working towards. Knowing the goal gives the individual employee security and unifies the team.

Second, provide a solid organization. Knowing who you report to, the chain of command, and team members’ responsibilities helps every employee feel good and secure. Organize departments. Organize tasks. Objectives and deadlines should be clearly defined. Employees will have more trust in their employers and team if they know what is expected of them and everyone else. Business organizations need to be tweaked at times. If this happens, be sure to outline the new organization clearly for all employees and keep going strong.

Third, keep your employees happy with frequent sessions to give feedback. Leaders can show appreciation for their employees and encourage improvement at these meetings. Give employees the chance to give their ideas and opinions. What is going well for the individual, team, department, and the company as a whole? What can be improved upon? Offer incentives. Every employee feels better about their job when appreciation, both verbal and material, is given. Having quarterly, or more frequent, interviews with team members will help keep goals in focus and encourage open communication. This also builds trust between the employer and employee.

Fourth, offer employees the opportunity to get to know each other. This can be accomplished inside and outside of the workplace. Hold team or department training lunches or hold breakfast before a company meeting. Encourage teams to gather in the conference room to brainstorm new strategies. Outside of the office, company barbeques offer employees the chance to interact with each other, learn more about each other, and naturally build camaraderie. These could be held quarterly or semiannually. Some businesses even hold team-building workshops and retreats. These can be very effective as well, but are most successful when the other four objectives have been met.

Finally, the team is only as successful as the leader. Whether you’re the leader of the company or the department, you set the tone for your team. Be positive. Be open to communication. Set clear goals and have fair expectations. Employees will rally behind a good leader.

Build a strong team by having a clear purpose, good organization, open communication, employee interaction, and good leadership. A strong team will foster a strong business.