If you want the most buy-in from the staff, get them involved! Ask your co-workers what kind of food, themes, and activities they want to have at their office party. People are more inclined to participate and enjoy something, no matter how cheesy, when they are given choices and are involved in the planning and organizing.
If there's one rule of thumb when it comes to parties, it's that food brings people together. If you're on a budget, cross that caterer off your list and have people sign up for a potluck (and the food shouldn't have to be homemade).
A great way to get people in the spirit is to create a holiday ambiance—so get ready to deck the halls and rock around the Christmas tree! Instead of the traditional stockings and candy canes, consider a theme based on a favorite Christmas movie, or celebrate like it's the 80s again.
Create your own backdrop by covering a wall with holiday wrapping paper and decorations and buy some cheap props at the dollar store. You could even have someone dress as Santa (or have a stuffed stand-in) so people can sit on Santa's lap. People can
use their smartphones to take selfies of themselves with their besties, but don't forget the honorary group photo.
Door prizes make a welcome addition to any company party. Who doesn't love winning something? Think about what kind of prizes fit your budget and what your employees will appreciate most. A few tried-and-true ideas include: – Gift cards – Tech gadgets - think a FitBit or a nice
pedometer – Fancy chocolate – Paid days off – Coffee mugs - fill them with candy, tea bags, or other treats – Tickets to a game or show
Having a Secret Santa gift exchange can be fun, but let's be honest - it gets a little worn-out year after year. Try changing things up with a white elephant gift exchange, where everyone brings a gift that's strange, funny, or unusable. Other fresh ideas: – Have a themed gift exchange. For instance, specify that peop
le can only give each other books or edible treats. – Play a guessing game. The first person to guess what's in a package gets to keep it. – In lieu of an office gift swap, have everyone put the money they would have spent on a gift towards charity.
Maybe you've spent so many hours inside your office chained to your desk that you'd rather get some fresh air or perhaps office parties at your company have gone stale. Then you should consider some alternatives that can bring co-workers together within a
different context or that connect your company with the community. For example, nothing says "spirit of giving" more than volunteering.