Good small business owners show their appreciation toward their employees, especially during the holiday season. However, prices can accumulate quickly when planning a company holiday party. If you’re not sure how to host a holiday party while saving costs, check out these five tips below.
1. Host a holiday potluck.
Potlucks can be a great way to host your holiday party while also cutting costs. However, you should gauge whether or not your employees would enjoy it. If it’s a right fit for your small business, keep in mind that there are a few ways to hold the potluck. You could create a list of foods or drinks people can sign up to bring. Another option is holding an international potluck, in which your employees bring their favorite foreign dishes to share. You could also provide the drinks and entrees (sandwiches, pizza, sushi, etc.) and have your employees bring their favorite desserts.
2. Host the party at the office.
Renting a space for your holiday party can get pricey quickly. Consider hosting the party at your office during office hours (perhaps the last half of a Friday or after work on a Thursday). This saves on costs while also making it more comfortable for employees who may feel pressured to attend a formal party. Provide the food and drinks, and play White Elephant (making the gifts $20 or less). Your employees will appreciate the convenience and will be more comfortable having a party in a place they’re familiar with.
3. Have a company outing.
Instead of hosting an official party, consider taking your employees on a company outing. This could be a local garden lights show or even a seasonal home walking tour. You could also go to local attractions like the aquarium, ice rinks or museums. Another idea to consider is going bowling, roller skating, to the movies or even visiting the zoo. Make a poll so employees can vote on where they’d like to go. Company outings are great bonding experiences, and your employees will appreciate taking the day to do something they normally might not have time for.
4. Host the party after the holidays.
If you’re still committed to an offsite holiday party, consider moving it to after the holidays. The prices will go down, and more spaces will be available. Even caterers and bands will be cheaper since they’re low in demand in January. Employees also feel the post vacation hangover once they return to work after the holidays, so giving them something to look forward to can boost their spirits and productivity.
5. Give everyone the day off.
If planning a party isn’t the right fit for your small business, give your employees an extra day off. This shows your consideration for your employees and their work-life balance. If you have the funds, give them Visa or MasterCard gift cards ($25-$50) to treat themselves during their day off. However, if you take this route, check with your payroll team to ensure your employees wouldn’t have to pay taxes on this gift. If closing your small business for an extra day is too much, consider giving each your employees an extra day of PTO (or a half day of PTO) that they can take off before the year ends.
Showing your appreciation for your employees doesn’t mean you should break bank. There are several ways you can host a great holiday party while also being cost-friendly to your small business. With these alternative options, your employees will still have a great time and realize how much they’re appreciated.
Constantina Kokenes is a Content Specialist at Kabbage, a small business loans provider. She holds a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. When not immersed in the small business world, Constantina loves cooking, baking, going on hikes, and playing with her cat and chinchilla.