One way to bring together a bunch of diverse people is to have a celebration together, and most office holiday parties do exactly that. They bring together a number of people who don’t usually interact with each other, put out a lavish spread and let the holiday spirit do the rest.

But sometimes, when these office holiday parties become more about the spectacle rather than the purpose, the meaning behind them gets lost. We should also remember that year by year, our workplaces are getting more diverse. If you want to foster engagement, then you have to do it in a way that includes all your employees, not just some of them.

Here are 4 tips to ensure an enjoyable office holiday party. And remember, holiday parties don’t need to be lavish affairs. An office party could be any organized event. The idea is to create a memorable event that everyone in the organization looks back upon fondly.

Make It Inclusive

An inclusive office holiday party invites everyone in an organization to take part. A denominational office holiday party, on the other hand, brings joy to some at the expense of others. Free the holiday party of its festive trappings and treat it as any other company get-together, albeit one that comes around during the holiday season. Treat employees to a good lunch or dinner, a bowling event, individual gift cards, a short trip away, an office potluck etc. There are so many options when it comes to celebrating employees being together and all of them are distinctive from the holiday.

Also read: 6 Meaningful Alternatives to the Annual Holiday Party

Set Clear Expectations

To have an office holiday party that does not turn into an event that employees want to forget, establish a few rules in place. Set a dress code, explicitly detail what is expected of employees and what will happen if employees engage in inappropriate behavior. You might assume that adults are knowledgeable and well-mannered enough to not cause problems but this isn’t always the case. It would also be a good idea to have someone who can impartially monitor the room to ensure that things don’t get out of hand.

Also read: How To Navigate The Annual Holiday Party

Volunteer A Day / Give Back

Volunteering is a wonderful alternative office party idea. This could involve volunteering at shelters/non-profits, or matching donations to a charity of choice, or even hosting fundraising activities for a charity of choice.

Ensure that people are not forced into donating or giving back. Budgets are stretched tighter than usual during the holidays and it is unfair to expect everyone in an organization to donate generously. Let employees figure out how much they’d like to donate or help them figure out how else they can contribute. You never know, sometimes, the act of giving back could even be about helping someone in your own organization!

Also read: 5 Fun Employee Engagement Ideas For This Holiday Season

Small, Cozy Get Together

What if you are a fledgling startup with a very small team or your organization just does not have the budget for a blow out bash? What are you going to do then? In that case, a small intimate get-together is a great way to bring everyone together without having to overstretch yourselves. Stripped of all finery and stuffiness, at an intimate get together be it over wine and cookies or movies and popcorn, employees can just kick back without having to worry.


Engagedly is a performance review software that incorporates elements of employee engagement. To see how Engagedly can help your organization, request a demo today!