How Christmas Parties affect Employee Relations

Published: 20 December 2013

Employee Engagement in the workplace is one of the most fundamental factors when it comes to having a happy and motivated workforce. There are several ways to develop it but at this time of the year I thought that the topic at the forefront of most of our minds is that of the Christmas party - an annual event that boosts morale and strengthens the bond between colleagues. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s most recent Employee Outlook survey published in Autumn 2013 discovered that just 36% of employees were positively engaged at work. Employees need to be motivated and they need to have their achievements recognised, isn’t a party a terrific solution for this?!

I’m writing on the day after my own Christmas party, there may be a few sore heads nearby but I’m sure there must be at least a few positive outcomes from our bonding. The environment feels positive, a positive environment boosts morale, great morale helps a company perform better; this is a formula that I’m sure a lot of companies adhere to. Since 1997 Gallup, the Employee Engagement Consultancy, have been conducting a series of large scale studies to examine the effect of Employee Engagement on a company’s performance; they have found that it affects nine performance outcomes: absenteeism, turnover, shrinkage, safety incidents, patient safety incidents, quality incidents, customer metrics, productivity and profitability. They have found that businesses that score in the top half of their organisation in Employee Engagement nearly double the odds of success when compared to the bottom half.

Not only is it a Christmas Party, it is the chance for a company to boost its employees morale as the weather becomes miserable and the nights draw in, and it is also a great opportunity for employees to network and learn from each other. Surely this is a beneficial time for colleagues to get up to date with what’s going on within their company, to see if they can perhaps help one another out; it’s also a good chance to put names to faces.

Whilst looking at blogs and reading around the subject of Employee Engagement I can certainly say that this is a key component in a successful and profitable company. Just remember, Christmas Parties aren’t just an excuse for a free bar!

Merry Christmas!

Harriet Surman is a Researcher in the HR Practice at Berwick Partners

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