I’m currently moonlighting in my husband’s office as an Executive and Administration Assistant and I absolutely love it – it’s exactly like being on our Honeymoon, but we’re not surfing, in Hawaii, or getting tired after only five hours of being awake. As a nod to my fellow workers slaving away from 9 -5, I thought I would introduce to you a new segment about hosting office parties and how to turn a meeting from drab to fab. As they always say, a party without cake is just a meeting, so the inner event planner in me wants to turn your meeting into a party – with more than just cake. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
- Treat your staff
I’ve worked in several environments where the staff has been treated like absolute rubbish and you really get a sense that you are literally there to make someone else money. It’s not a nice feeling, and it really makes you and your fellow staff members feel undervalued, so treat them to something nice! If your office is a tea and coffee on the regular kind of place, break out the wine! If everyone brings their own lunch in every day, get them catering or even a pizza. If your one of the horrible workplaces I used to work in, who wouldn’t even provide their staff with the basic necessities of WATER, up your freaking game and get them drinks and lunch! Make the staff feel valued with a special treat at office functions – it’s the least you can do.
- Get everyone involved
There’s always that one or two workers who won’t go to any celebration and stand dutifully in the back while everyone else is singing happy birthday. Socialising at a work function might get awkward, but if you get everyone involved then you’ll all be in the same boat together. Getting everyone involved in a party can be as easy as simply asking everyone what they would like to eat and drink at a party, or what their favourite food is. Who is not going to happily show up at a function if their favourite snack is on the menu?
Photo From IdeasDesignProduction
- Think outside the box.
Christmas party in red and green? Birthday party in pointy hats and chocolate cake? These kind of parties are not going to entice excitement out of anybody because they have all been done before! Brainstorm with your office over their favourite themes and host your annual party or meeting based on that! If there is something that runs as a common theme throughout the office – such as a shared love of Game of Thrones, or your work in a Marketing office – than base your decorations, food and entertainment on that. Get everyone to dress up as your favourite Game of Thrones character and eat roast pig, or get everyone to wear one element of their favourite Pantone colours. Get creative, and as mentioned in number two, this is a great way to get everyone involved.
- Be Genuine
It’s all well and good for the CEO to make a big speech about how valued you are and how much you deserve to have a glass of wine at this function, but if they’re going to skink back off to their office or grumble disapprovingly while you finish off your first glass of alcohol, than no one is going to socialise and have fun and will probably never return to another meeting in case the boss gives them the “stink eye” again. Something I learnt as a manager is that an effective way to lead is to be approachable and set a good example, so be genuine in your actual celebration of the team. Sure, don’t drink three bottles of wine and throw up in a pot plant (that’s just messy – you have to see these people again tomorrow!) but chat with other members of your staff and get involved. If the boss is relaxed, others might just get a little bit more relaxed and actually enjoy themselves.
- Be Clear About When The Party Starts
This is important if your going for a seamless transition from working at your desk to mingling with some wine. No one wants to be the first one at a party – office or not – and people might be antsy about being the first to pour themselves a drink. Be clear in your invite when it starts and don’t be afraid to round people up, turn up the music and let the office know the party has started. If you are the party organizer, start offering everyone a drink – that way they know its ok to start winding down from regular work.
So I hope these five tips help show your fellow staff members just how much they mean to you with an organised event – you spend more time in your life with your workmates than your loved ones, so make it count!
Let me know how you go following my tips. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org about how you turned your next office meeting into a more interesting affair.