Action Plan : Celebrate With Your Staff

Monday, November 22, 2021 | November 2021

THROW YOUR BEST HOLIDAY PARTY

Four tips for making your get-together a success

diverse group of staff at christmas party posing for picture smiling and wearing christmas hatsIF YOU GO TO FINZEL’S MASTERTECH on a Saturday in December, you may find the normally open shop closed. It’s not for training or due to illness, it’s in order to ensure that none of the staff have to rush out of the shop to get to the annual Christmas party in time.

In addition to weekly Friday lunches, monthly meetings with food, and an annual cookout, Steve Finzel, owner of Finzel’s Mastertech in Terre Haute, Ind., throws his staff a holiday party.

“It gets you out of the shop and someplace else, you can see who people are [outside of work],” Finzel says. The party is something that the staff looks forward to all year and helps build camaraderie. If you’re considering throwing your staff a holiday party, or are looking for new ideas for your current party, Finzel shares his tips for ensuring it’s a smash.

MAKE IT EASY TO ATTEND.

Finzel has 12 people on staff, including himself. So when deciding on the date for the party, it’s pretty simple for him to ask what date works best for them.

“We’re pretty limited after Thanksgiving,” Finzel says. “We ask around to figure out the best weekend to accommodate. We may miss someone, but we pick the date that works for the most people.”

As mentioned above, Finzel also closes the shop, which is typically open until 4 p.m. on Saturdays, so that nobody feels rushed and the staff has time to get ready for the festivities.

Although his party is geared toward adults, Finzel says if staff needs to bring their young children because of a lack of childcare, they’re more than welcome. Typically, if a staff member does bring their kids, one of the parents will leave a little earlier.

MAKE IT COMFORTABLE.

One of the biggest mistakes that Finzel says he made with the holiday party was having it at the fanciest steakhouse in town.

“It made a few people uncomfortable with how to dress and they were uncomfortable in that environment,” Finzel says.

At the nice steakhouse, Finzel realized the staff couldn’t be loud and be themselves. After that, he started asking the staff where they would like to go. For a few years, they all decided on a restaurant in town and enjoyed a nice meal together. Then, since they already have weekly and monthly meetings with food at the shop,

Finzel decided to switch it up and bring them into an even more comfortable environment—his house. Finzel says the staff enjoys having it at his house. With a big counter and a pool table, it’s the perfect place for the staff to let loose and really enjoy each other’s company.

MAKE THEM FEEL APPRECIATED.

Although Finzel usually has some of the food catered, the majority of it he cooks himself.

“I think it means something to the guys that you care enough to spend some time making food for them,” Finzel says.

In addition to the home cooked treats, Finzel always has some type of favor for his staff to take home. One year it might be a candle or an ornament, but whatever it is, he says it’s nice for the staff to have something to take home from the company to show that his or her work is appreciated. Finzel estimates that the party typically costs him roughly $100 per person.

MAKE IT MEMORABLE.

Rather than just having food, Finzel says his party has “all the crazy, stupid party games,” including limbo and casino games. In addition, he usually does some kind of gift exchange, whether it’s a white elephant or doing gift card grabs. He says that it’s a lot of interaction and laughing and has really allowed for team bonding and for the staff to get to know each other on a more personal level.

A holiday party is a great way to get to know your staff on a more personal level and thank them for all that they do for you. No matter what you do, remember to make it about them and what they would most enjoy.

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