New Surveys Show Holiday Celebrations Get High Marks from Managers, Employees

MENLO PARK, CA -- Despite past predictions of its demise, the holiday office party remains a cherished tradition among a majority of staff and management alike. In recent surveys, 73 percent of managers at Fortune 1000 companies and 74 percent of workers polled said their company hosts an office party. Of those who do have holiday soirees, 77 percent of managers and 71 percent of employees said they enjoy celebrating the winter holidays with their colleagues. The results indicate a more festive spirit than prevailed four years ago, when 64 percent of executives in a similar survey said the annual get-together had fallen out of favor.

The surveys were developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals, and were conducted by an independent research firm. The management surveys are based on responses from 150 senior executives at the nation’s 1,000 largest companies. The employee survey includes responses from 594 men and women 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Executives and staff were asked, “Do you enjoy your company’s office holiday parties?” Their responses:

    Managers   Employees
Yes   77%   71%
No   18%   24%
Don’t know/no answer   5%   5%
    100%   100%

“Holiday get-togethers are great opportunities for businesses to reward staff and celebrate the year’s accomplishments,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Employees can meet colleagues in other departments or divisions of the company and build camaraderie that is beneficial all year round.”

For those firms that shy away from parties because of cost or concerns about cultural sensitivities, Domeyer noted that it is possible to host a safe, inclusive gathering that won’t break the budget. “A nondenominational event held during business hours – perhaps an on-site potluck lunch, for example – would allay many of these concerns and provide a venue for workers to share in the spirit of the season,” she said.

Domeyer had the following suggestions for companies that decide to host more elaborate affairs:

  • Involve staff members in the planning process. This will not only generate good ideas about location, menu and other details, but also encourage team spirit and excitement among colleagues.
  • Be careful about timing. Weekends in December quickly become overbooked, so consider scheduling the event on a weekday immediately after work.
  • Create a buzz. Give employees plenty of advance notice so the maximum number can attend. Generate excitement for the event through e-mail and internal newsletter updates.
  • Encourage networking. Provide nametags and encourage people to mingle and get to know one another better.
  • Recognize staff members. Elaborate prizes and gifts are not necessary. A simple but heartfelt “thank you” is a great way to publicly acknowledge employees’ hard work and loyalty.

OfficeTeam has more than 300 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.officeteam.com.

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