For many people in the UK, early snow has painted a very festive landscape as we start December. The conventional Dickensian vision of a white panorama and a warm roaring fire is being performed in a great number of towns and cities around the land, but one winter tradition seems to be on the way out if recent findings are anything to go by.
The traditional work celebration has become renowned for stationery cupboard frivolities and lurid acts with photocopiers, but according to statistics from Employment Law Advisory Services (ELAS), almost 40% of SME’s in the UK are likely to ditch the office celebration.
Unsurprisingly the economic downturn has taken a bite out of corporate celebrations, with 20% no longer able to afford it and 16% deeming it to be insensitive in the wake of redundancies and lay offs.
The real worry for the future of the office celebration is from managers and directors themselves, with 70% of employers having an issue with worker behaviour during and after the celebration. Evidently the flammable concoction of alcohol and your boss is just a bit too much for some people, and the historic situation of telling your managers exactly what you think of them helps to make for an uncomfortable situation.
Together with bosses becoming a bit uneasy about the behaviour of staff is the concern of whether staff will actually enjoy a Christmas party. Based on the survey 10% of organizations have stopped office parties because workers do not want to go out together, so for those companies that do carry on with parties there’s no guaranteeing that workers will even appreciate the gesture.
With the sales of corporate gifts set to increase this Christmas when compared to last year, organizations are clearly not averse to enjoying the holiday season, but considering the added promotional rewards that are connected to business gifts bosses might prefer to spend on those over office celebrations.
Business gifts are also a much safer spend than office parties, with no danger of them getting drunk and making a pass on their colleagues, but will deciding on corporate gifts over an office party be a victory for pragmatism over enjoyment, valuing marketing benefits and business possibilities at Christmas over staff rewards?
Clearly, staff celebrations aren’t without their hazards, but can a work function provide a much needed pick-me-up or motivational device to help businesses work more successfully?
When times are tough it’s obvious that firms who are watching the pennies will minimize expenses like Christmas functions as this will save them much needed money. Where companies are cutting back on parties they may well make up for it with business gifts or cash bonuses, and however businesses decide to celebrate the festive period it is very important to realise its potential for rewarding hard working personnel.
Whether it is with an office party or Christmas corporate gifts it is important to reward the efforts of staff and Christmas offers the ideal opportunity to do this. Time will tell if the staff party can continue in the 21st century, but what is important is that workers continue to be rewarded for their performance to sustain motivation for the benefit of both the company and workers.