Realisations Consultancy - Partners in Corporate Learning & Innovation

Six Key Tips for Team Building at Office Christmas Functions

With office Christmas parties being held soon, Western Australian employers have been urged not to ignore the event’s importance for morale and team building in their organisations.

Managers and chief executives have been reminded that Christmas parties are an ideal forum to publicly acknowledge and thank their staff and to consolidate a positive work environment, as well as for celebration and having a good time.

The reminder has come from corporate culture specialist Dr Genevieve Armson BSc (Hons) MBA DBA (Business Administration), a respected corporate educator and founder of Realisations Consultancy.

Dr Armson said that employers who fail to publicly address their staff - and to publicly acknowledge good performance with gifts or certificates at Christmas functions - are missing a valuable and significant opportunity.

“The hundreds of successful organisations that we have worked with over the past 16 years have found that the self-belief of employees is just as valuable to them as their technical skills,” Dr Armson said. “Office Christmas parties are a great opportunity to publicly acknowledge staff in front of their peers – one of the most powerful forms of building self-esteem. These functions could be somewhat wasted, if all they are is an excuse for over indulgence.”

Realisations Consultancy has developed six key tips for managers and CEOS to capitalise on the team-building and morale strengthening potential of office Christmas Functions: They are:

(1) Make a brief 5-minute speech to your staff, congratulating all of them on the achievements of the past year and thanking them for their contribution to your organisation. Ensure that this speech is made early in the function, before people become too relaxed to properly appreciate it.

(2) Make public presentations to outstanding staff who have made exceptional contributions to the organisation’s success during the year. Call them forward, shake their hand, and perhaps present them with a certificate which they can frame and keep on an office wall for on-going recognition. T-shirts or caps, printed with your organisation’s logo, slogan and achievements, can be good gifts, which also serve to promote your business.

(3) Humour is a great team builder. Consider having some ‘fun’ awards to present to staff, perhaps acknowledging their contribution to the team spirit and enjoyable work environment in your office. Be careful not to embarrass anyone.

(4) Acknowledge your organisation’s achievements for the past year, but also acknowledge any shortcomings or mistakes. This shows that your organisation has a pragmatic and realistic attitude, not one only built on optimism. Briefly outline any key goals and plans for the coming year and highlight the benefits and enjoyment your staff can expect in the next 12 months.

(5) End your speech with a call for everyone to applaud themselves and their colleagues for their efforts during the year.

(6) Be generous enough to ensure that taxi vouchers are available – on request at the end of the function - for those staff who may over-indulge themselves. The cost of taxi vouchers is far less than the likely cost of losing a staff member through accident, or having them lose their driving licence.

Dr Armson is an adult education expert. Her firm Realisations Consultancy works with corporate and government clients in the burgeoning fields of corporate transformation and culture development.

Realisations Consultancy Pty Ltd
128 Bishopsgate Street CARLISLE Western Australia 6101
Mobile: 0412 292 999   Tel: 61 8 9470 2662   Fax: 61 8 9362 4456
E-mail:   Web: www.realisations.com.au