Don’t do THIS when planning your holiday party

Don’t do THIS when planning your holiday party

Consider the employee perspective when planning festivities for all to appreciate and enjoy.

Last week I had an interesting conversation about a holiday party that an organization had planned for their staff. A happy topic, right?

But the person I was speaking with was frustrated that many of the non-supervisory staff members were not attending. She wondered if it was a reflection on employee morale.

Lots of effort was put into planning the event and she felt badly that people just couldn’t be bothered with it.

I knew the feeling well. One year I was so annoyed with what I deemed ungrateful staff that I threw away my copy of 1,001 Ways to Motivate Employees!

Having learned from my own experience, I suggested to the person I was talking with that she look beyond her frustration to the real issue.

Many of the non-supervisory staff work two jobs. When you are barely making ends meet, how likely are you to take a day off from your second job to attend a party? Many staff members are single mothers with no support system. Do you pay a babysitter to attend a holiday party or buy a coat for your child?

Thinking about a different perspective was eye opening for this leader. She realized that she had never thought about the real reasons people were not attending the celebration.

Don’t assume everyone has the same way of life or standard of living that you do.

Take action!

Reading Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc dramatically changed the way I interact with non-supervisory staff. The author follows a family living in poverty and shares life from their perspective. The book became even more meaningful to me when one of the women in the book took a job as a nursing assistant.


While it’s impossible to meet every person’s needs, think about these ideas when planning a celebration:

  • Let Staff Members Plan:  A simple, but often overlooked, idea is to have staff members that represent a variety of perspectives plan the celebration.
  • Welcome Children:  Can you arrange for babysitting on-site or a daytime party that welcomes children?
  • Share the Goodies:  Hold a free raffle for staff to share the gifts your team receives this season. One year, a staff member who won a basket told me she was so thankful because she now had a present to give her husband who was otherwise getting nothing.    

It is the perfect time of year to commit to leading in a different way. Let me know how I can help you challenge, inspire, and motivate your team. 

I want to give you the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season: genuine appreciation. More important than parties, giveaways, even compensation, your employees want more appreciation and recognition. The genuine, authentic kind. They want to feel really good at work, and you are in the perfect position to make them feel that way. 

As my gift to you, here is The Dos and Don’ts of Appreciation. In it, I outline the pitfalls that exist with giving appreciation, and I help you not only to avoid them but how to make each member of your team feel special and recognized too. Make 2023 the year you build a culture of appreciation and then realize all the beauty that comes from it. 

This content has 1.25 free NAB-approved CE credits and is from my membership program, Fully Staffed. We will be opening the doors to join Fully Staffed in January. Stay tuned!

Happy celebrating!



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