As the year winds down, I hope you and your staff are seeing a bit more “sparkle” on the practice profit margin and you can take time to celebrate the Holiday Season. After all, there’s nothing like a little “rockin’ around the Christmas tree” to build camaraderie. But how do you ensure that you spread the holiday cheer without having to hand over a chunk of cash? Follow a few guidelines to keep the party on pace and the budget in line.
Here are a few suggestions of my own for a holiday party success:
1. Involve employees in the planning. Making them part of the process helps to ensure that you can deliver a celebration they will enjoy.
2. Provide clear budget guidelines, and encourage the party planners to be creative. For example the location could be a museum, or perhaps an ice rink.
3. Fixed Menu – If you do choose to hold your party at a restaurant, select items in advance from a limited menu. Include a variety of appetizers, pasta, chicken and fish. While you don’t want to skimp on food, you can be selective.
4. Limit Libations – Keep in mind that toasting the success of the practice once or twice is great, but should be limited. An open bar is an open invitation to potential problems. 5. Holding the event during the day can also keep expenses down – If the event is held during the day, the guest list is expected to be employees only.
6. Use the holiday party as an opportunity to give to others as well – In the spirit of “it is better to give than receive,” encourage staff to bring non-perishable items to the party that will be donated to the local food pantry or collect unwrapped new toys for area toy drives.
7. Make it a point to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year by showing genuine appreciation to your team members. Perhaps write a note of thanks and read it to them before presenting it to each team member present.
If a holiday party is not in your budget this year, consider offering staff members flexible scheduling over the holidays. This is a potentially huge reward with little/no impact on the bottom line. It can be a relatively easy way to thank employees who, like most of us, struggle to keep their work and personal life in balance.
Keep in mind that while the holidays offer an opportunity to recognize hard work and thank employees for their commitment to the practice throughout the year, they should not to be the only time of year in which you acknowledge their efforts.