Dismiss the Christmas party at your peril

Even during the economic downturn, businesses that do away with the annual corporate Christmas party could be damaging employee morale in 2012.

That’s according to the Forum of Private Business, who are warning bosses that staff are likely to be less productive and less incentivised if they aren’t rewarded with a Christmas bash at the end of a tough year.

Even if cash is tight, the Forum says that there are plenty of bargains to be had for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).

HR Magazine cites the Forum’s chief executive, Phil Orford, who says: “The benefits of an annual get-together cannot be underestimated. They encourage communication, motivate staff, and reward them at a time when other perks, such as pay rises and bonuses for many just aren’t an option.”

The Forum has issued 10 tips for employers about how to get the most out of their budgets, reports Fresh Business Thinking. Ideas range from offering employees a choice of Christmas party venues, to hosting their own entertainment when inside – like throwing a pub quiz for example.

“The important thing for employers to remember is that being seen to do something for staff at Christmas, however small the gesture, is far better than nothing at all,” Orford added.