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Throw a great holiday party

Make it fun, festive, alcohol-free

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in Office Management

Over the next six weeks, you’re probably going to throw a holiday party for your staff. Do your best to make it a happy memory.

When parties lack spirit, everyone shuffles around listlessly. Rather than celebrating the merry season, weary attendees look like they’re visiting the dentist.

Here’s how to liven up your bash:

Limit booze. Better yet, skip it. While some folks will gripe if your party lacks alcohol, you’ll reduce the risk of embarrassment and minimize your liability for drunken drivers.

Create icebreakers. It’s amazing how people can share cubicles for years and not know much about each other. Use your party to break down barriers and add camaraderie. Arrange for guests to pair up and quiz each other on their hobbies, families, hometowns, etc.—based on a written list of questions you distribute.

Toast your team. Write a fun poem to read to the group that summarizes the year. Use it as a lead-in to toast your staff for their hard work.

Spread yourself around. Mix throughout the crowd. Don’t plant yourself in a side room with a few buddies. Employees will notice your whereabouts and resent it if you seem aloof.

Involve families. Invite employees’ families and involve them in the festivities. Ask them to discuss how long they’ve known the employee, what they admire most about that person and how they would describe that employee’s job.

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