Christmas ..Holidays...Party Season..Why?

You Party because You are Expected To ....

By now you have your Holiday party planned or maybe you are already over it. Preparation can be hectic. You have been trying to give another nice end-of-year party and your hopes are that it will be.

It is amazing when we break it into pieces how many things something as simple and as common as a end-of-year Holiday party could involve. From very small to very large organizations, the idea behind it is to cultivate good employee relations. Employees look forward to this event. Life partners are involved in "shopping" for the occasion. It is indeed the networking event of the year for many, the one coming after social networking. As a child I remember going to business Christmas parties where the whole family was invited and children given very nice presents by Santa Claus!

For HR, it falls into a busy period: time for performance reviews, time for seasonal hiring for some, time for reporting, and this year, time for preparing for changes in benefits requirements. Needless to say, to some the end-of-year holiday party is just another chore, another must do, if not the nightmare before Christmas. According to the 2012 RedBalloon Reward and Recognition survey:
  • 63 per cent of organizations put on a Christmas party
  • 10 per cent might, depending on how the company has performed
  • 27 per cent do not celebrate at all. 
In France and some other countries that have embraced the practice, it is common to give a thirteen month salary (le troisième mois). So, yes most companies celebrate closing the year in one way or another and it is usually cooking behind the scene. Evidently, HR does participate in giving advice on what a Christmas party or gift should be about. Under current economic circumstances, maybe we could get more creative, think outside the box and reflect on what employees would really appreciate. Gift giving does not have to be too costly, and conversely, to the 27% who do not celebrate the season at all, recognizing your employees in one way or another at a special time of the year could boost morale and improve your business results.
Copyright 2012 AR_HRCom Dessert

You do Not Participate..What is HR to you?

I have seen small organizations doing a great job in employee recognition, by the end of the year. Hefty gift cards, substantial bonuses, nice gatherings where all bosses mix in with employees. The result is great PR, better employee engagement, and a sense of belonging that employees do really appreciate.

Large organizations do also a great job in planning and following through all their employee recognition program which includes the end-of-year Holiday party. It is well planned, well programmed, and all that preparation is even checked upon in a form or another.

My question is what about a Holiday party that you have given major instructions for, have worked details with the unit manager, and that results in having food delivered and set up for all employees to "enjoy", and you HR not even showing up for a few minutes? Have you forgotten to put the event in your agenda or is it a clear reflection of the attention that you give to employee relations, among other things? Should it be part of your HR delivery? Like it or not, HR is also one way or another.


  1. HO HO 'UH-OH': Survey Reveals Strange Sightings at Company Parties

    1. Interesting feedback. Here is an updated view


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