More to the Holiday Party Than Meets the Eye

Updated on October 8, 2022

By Kim Bassett

Holiday parties are a part of most work cultures. A tradition. Something that many employees look forward to all year long. It’s a time when employees are given permission to relax and spend time with co-workers in a different setting — people they spend more time with each year than even their families. Spouses and significant others are introduced, emotional connections are made. Relationships grow stronger. 

Knowing all this, why then are holiday parties often the first item cut from the budget when things get tight financially?  Leaders make this decision because it’s an easy budget line item to take away as it has no visible impact to the job at hand and saves a little money. What leaders may not see behind that one swipe of the pen is the beginning of a much bigger problem, which ultimately will affect the overall health of the organization.  The psychological well-being of your employees directly correlates to their productivity.

Positive and lasting effects of the holiday work party:

  1. Improves work-life balance, which is growing more and more important in the workplace as Millennials age into the workplace. Studies show they consistently choose work-life balance over pay and career progression.  
  2. Establishes tradition within workplace culture, which provides a feeling of comfort, loyalty and security among employees. It helps create a positive family environment.
  3. It’s humanizing. Seeing your coworkers in a casual, non-work environment — and meeting people important to them — has a humanizing effect. Ties beyond work are created with a deeper understanding, empathy and respect for each other. This is beneficial to creating a better work environment where your team starts behaving more like a team. 
  4. Expresses appreciation. Throwing a holiday party is one of the most effective ways to thank your employees. The holidays generally bring out people’s softer, more appreciative side, and a holiday party can go a long way to improve even the grouchiest of employees view of the company and your leadership. 

The positive impact of a good holiday party keeps on working long after the last dance. Having happy employees, makes for a better work environment, which ultimately affects the productivity of your entire organization. So the next time you are looking for places to scale back, before you take away the company holiday party, consider its lasting impact. 

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