Holiday Parties on a Budget

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Here’s the scenario: you cherish your employees and want to show them your appreciation by throwing them an amazing holiday bash complete with a five-course gourmet meal, expensive gifts for everyone, and a musical appearance by U2. Here’s the thing, you’re a small business in a not-so-great economy. How can you show your employees how you feel without breaking the bank with outrageous holiday parties?

Establish a Budget

First of all, establish a budget. Strategize with key people in your company to come up with a realistic plan for holiday spending. Once you have that in place, decide what elements are most important to your employees. Is it a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant? Is it an opportunity to help those in need? Is it a party with food and friends? Is it a robot butler? How do these things fit into your budget?

Be Realistic

Choose something that shows your employees that you think they are awesome, amazing, and outstanding. If your company can’t afford a grand gesture, it’s okay. Your employees work for your company, so they probably have an idea of the company’s financial situation. Keep in mind, it’s near impossible to please everyone, so don’t fret. Even if you flew the entire company to Barbados for an all-inclusive tropical vacation, someone would be afraid to fly or allergic to sunshine.

Keep it Simple

Need some ideas? Invite the company over to your home for a friendly get together complete with holiday tunes, eggnog, and ugly sweaters. Check out local colleges for rental space (most of them don’t charge a fee if you order food from their catering department). Encourage employees to donate to their favorite charities and create a matching program. Personalize a greeting card and tell each employee why they are an asset to your company. Get creative, but make sure the gesture says, “I care.” Let’s face it, you LOVE your employees; they are the reason for your success.

Keep it Going

The most important thing to remember is that showing your employees your appreciation for them isn’t something that happens once a year in December. You should be showing your appreciation every month, every week, and everyday. Frequent small gestures can be just as powerful as large ones.