End of year parties; the more informal, the better

2011 has been described as one of the most eventful years especially on the political scene but the economic world also produced quite a number of strong stories for the news junkies like yours truly.  The sexual scandals that claimed the career of ex-IMF chief, Dominic Strauss-Khan, the turbulence in the Eurozone caused by the unsustainable debt situations of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The US has had to deal with the Occupy Wall Street protests and all its replica versions. 
New century hotel under cosnstruction. The hotel industry is one pf the top investment attractions in the country .The New Times/ File
New century hotel under cosnstruction. The hotel industry is one pf the top investment attractions in the country .The New Times/ File

2011 has been described as one of the most eventful years especially on the political scene but the economic world also produced quite a number of strong stories for the news junkies like yours truly. 

The sexual scandals that claimed the career of ex-IMF chief, Dominic Strauss-Khan, the turbulence in the Eurozone caused by the unsustainable debt situations of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. The US has had to deal with the Occupy Wall Street protests and all its replica versions. 

However the year does not have to end in misery. An end of year is one such way of capping the year on a good note. For any company that truly treasures its employees, such a party is a must and the best way to get the best out of such moments is to go as informal as possible. 

Where possible, it is best that such a party be held away from the company premises unless of course the company is in the catering industry and therefore uncomfortable with spending the money at a competitor’s place. The new environment that is not work related can go a long way in ensuring that company employees are relaxed.

To cut the formalities further, do away with the high table; let the MD sit on the same table with lower level staff members. With such a relaxed sitting arrangement, the MD can engage in pep talk with the office messenger or receptionist.   

The dress code for such events should also be quite casual. Spare the suits, ties and long sleeved shirts for the board meetings. I have attended (or even fluked) such parties and I can assure you there is something about the lower echelon staff seeing their boss dressed in a T-shirt and dancing away like he/she is paid to do just that.

When I asked my mother how such parties were like in her days, the first thing that came to her mind was that it was not rare for the MC to request the MD of the company to open the dace with the receptionist or office messenger.

More importantly, the MC had better be the fellow with a sense of humour not necessarily someone at the top management level like the human resource officer. This further relaxes the mood of the party.

At such parties, it is always nice if the best performing staff members are rewarded for their efforts with some token gifts as a sign that the value of their work is treasured. Allow different members of staff to say something about anything to spice up the day.

When the company boss takes to the floor to give a speech, it is nice to spend time briefly acknowledging the high and low points of the year. The speech ought to be brief and possibly humorous so as not to kill the informal spirit of the day.

If finances can allow, it can be great if company staff are allowed to invite at least one person say a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend or just a friend. This way, such people can get to know meet and interact with their partner’s work family.

For those who have had their parties, I hope you had a great time. Those who have not yet should request for one. It is very valuable moment for the strength of a company.

ssenyonga@gmail.com

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