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5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs To Party

Forget the calendar! December isn’t the only month for company parties. One of my clients holds his company party after all the hoopla has died down. Instead of going for insanity with major deadlines and other demands on his staff, he simply has the party in January.

You don’t need fancy toys for a productive workplace.

It’s easy to look at places like Zappos or Google and see how they have video games, nap rooms or other fun perks. People take their cues from the leadership style of the business owner (CEO, president, etc).  If you believe that you can have a profitable and human-centered organisation, it behooves you to throw a party.

Five reasons to have a company party:

1. Meaningful expression of your organizational cultureFor small to mid-sized businesses, there isn’t as much distance between the employees and the decision maker(s). The type of party, venue and behaviour people exhibit communicate the prevailing culture.

2. Team building- Parties are opportunities to have different conversations. You and your staff may discover that Mary plays football every Tuesday evening or that John can quote lines from any movie. Having a good laugh with one another is hugely beneficial. According to research, it is effective for rapport building.

3. Small gatherings marks milestones- When a big deadline has been met, it might be tempting to acknowledge it via email or verbal acknowledgement. Eating together as a team reminds them they are in this together and emphasises that progress is being made. As their leader, you affirm their hard work. For more on this, check out Corporate Celebration Play, Purpose and Profit At Work by Terrence Deal and M. K. Key.

4. Natural opportunities to network. At a past employer, we had a potluck barbecue. It gave us a natural conversation starter as we waited for food to cook.  Sure, there is always that table of people who won’t talk with anyone else. On the other hand, the business owner can introduce a few people to one another and encourage others to do the same.

5. Fun- Fun is underrated in business and any business can be a fun place. Create big or small opportunities to have fun. There are no rules. A party can be a barbecue in the car park, sandwiches in the staff room or a soiree in a fancy venue.

Other party tips worth mentioning

There are some concerns with company parties. Cost can be an issue. Keep in mind that it can be breakfast or sandwiches. Hold a  luncheon (or after-hours meal) where everyone brings their best dish from home. Or have a black tie event with a band and open bar. If you’re concerned about bad behaviour or safety, plan a different sort of get-together that doesn’t have alcoholic beverages. One last tip, make it possible for any off-site staff to either attend the physical event or set up a special event for them via Skype, conference call or intranet social network.

Create community

That is really what parties do.  We spend so much of our lives working. According to PeopleMetrics, the cost of employee disengagement is too high. Consider what under-performance may be costing your organisation. Or worse, that one employee is telling another employee how horrible it is to work for you. Most company mission statements talk about being best-in-class and demonstrating core values. Business owners who spend time with their employees set a foundation of loyalty, meaning and purpose. When a leader forms a community with the employees, excellence and high performance are expressed. People are invested in one another.

What would happen if you led an organisation where people actually didn’t mind working together and maybe even liked one another?

What types of successful company parties or gatherings have you experienced?

“Image : smiling dancers having fun/Shutterstock

Growing a business locally or internationally takes a different mindset; the CEO Mindset. Elli St.George-Godfrey, a behavioral economics coach, international expansion consultant and founder of Ability Success Growth, uses her 3 Keys Coaching process to help business owners and executives in the US, Ireland and Northern Ireland to unlock the CEO within. Under her guidance, personal styles are fine-tuned allowing the senior leader to “authentically inhabit” the role of CEO and collaborate with their team more effectively. With this focus on both the people and the organization in which they work, Elli’s market-proven coaching helps leaders and their teams develop styles and capabilities which enables them to collaborate and effectively join together to optimize the business outcomes.

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  • Great post Elli and you’re preaching to the converted here! During my first sales management role, I often took my team out on the town to celebrate successes. As you have mentioned, this was a super way to help build a team mentality with the team. Headquarters eventually send someone over from the UK to see what we were doing differently, and when I mentioned that we made a big effort to party, I was looked at as though I had two heads.      

  • At my last “real job” we had our Christmas Party in January, a weekend away with spouses/partners. Every year was a success and the two locations got to network in a social and informal gathering. And what happend in the residents bar, stayed in the residents bar.

    My point is that it never felt like “lip service” as it was organised well, thought went into location and services, and the presence of the spouse/partner changed the dynamic. It also meant that the stereotype “boss with a few two many” behaved himself somewhat 🙂

    Great post Elli, it’s important to recognise hard work and dedication with something other than a “thank you” and rewards.

  • Anonymous

    What a cool idea to get away with spouses! That could create all kinds of networking opportunities!

    The most interesting thing to consider is that different things motivate different people. Saying thank you publicly and rewards are part of the package but getting to “play” and/or relax with one another has to be part of how leaders create a productive, money-making community.

  • Anonymous


    Thanks for commenting! The idea that people from different divisions or simply departments co-mingling creates the opportunity for cross-pollination or reducing the severity of conflict.

  • Anonymous


    Your example shows us how parties can be an advantage! It also shows us the tendency for people in business to think they have to be so serious all the time. Keep inspiring us!

  • This is an interesting subject. And also very necessary. The key to building a great team is chemistry. And this chemistry can be build both inside the company, and especially outside. The reasons you’ve mentioned are very well pointed. A team has to have fun too, and mixing business with pleasure is the perfect way to create those bonds a team is required to have.

  • I agree on this Eli. Sometimes, employees should have the time to enjoy or experience something great and fun aside from celebrating holidays. It will also a good way to keep employees interested more in the company for giving such one good break worth remembering. Speaking of budget, make sure the company sales has progress to also make the employees work harder and look forward to have another great activities with their co-workers and staffs. Those tips should be applied especially the safety. Nice post!

  • Hi Claire, thank you for sharing these insights with more people. Good intro.


  • Hi Bryan, Congarts on making the top spot. Your content is making quite a splash with the readers at TYB.

  • Hi Adam, well done as usual. You and Bryan above are becoming some of the new stars on here 🙂

  • Congratulations to all in the Top10 and strangely enough these contributors rarely need much editing so that says a lot too – i.e makes my work easier 🙂

  • Hi Niall, thanks. That’s awesome to hear – I’ll get some ideas together for my next post 🙂

  • All good examples for anyone that’s thinking of writing for us.

  • Lovely to be included in this – thank you 🙂

  • Helen Cousins

    Goodness me – Niall you wrote an article about evergreen content a year or two ago – it was new to me at the time – it seems ‘evergreen’ does continue to work long after you’ve written it, as these are old articles of mine. Thanks Niall! ~ Helen

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