As the year-end approaches, we traditionally move into setting in motion our planning for the Christmas party, whatever guise that may take. We involve our employees, set a date, find a venue, let them know what we’ll be doing and then let our hair down a little and have some fun. Even last year, despite the challenges, we were able to do this. Not so this year.
If your intention is to thank your team for all their hard work and the difficulties they have endured this year, and to recognise their contributions by valuing their efforts, then it becomes a no brainer.
You have to somehow create a Christmas party plan that is workable and will reward your employees.
If you decide that you are going to hold a party this year, then time is tight and you’ll need to get organised quickly.
The introduction of the traffic light system, likely in early December, still provides huge challenges for employers to organise a social gathering.
- How many people there are in your organisation
- The nature of your business
- Are they geographically separated into smaller units, like branches?
- Are there a number of natural work groups in your organisation?
- The difficulties of inviting partners and/or children to any function because of vaccination and number issues
- Are the vaccinated and the non-vaccinated employees separated at work?
- Do you have a strong anti-vax voice in your workforce?
- Do you have a strong pro-vax voice in your workforce?
- Has the Government or have you independently mandated vaccinations in your workplace?
- Have you the facilities to host a function on your premises?
- What expectations do you think your employees have?
The first decision to make is whether to hold the function in November under the current system or to hold off until December when the traffic light system kicks in.
Holding it in November
It may well be better to grip the whole thing up, take control, and make a plan now that can be communicated, and your team can look forward to. In any event many Christmas functions are held in late November prior to silly season arriving, and this represents an opportunity to just get on with your planning.
Options for Auckland businesses
With a current limit of 25 people and restricted to outside socialising, potential options include:
- A special take away lunch from a reputable restaurant hosted just for employees outside on site or at a scenic recreational park. This could work well if the employee numbers are less than 25.
- The same arrangement but hosted and catered for by a senior manager at their residence
- For larger organisations, holding separated Departmental lunches outside. This could have the feel of a larger gathering but would still meet distancing requirements
- A small tea-time type party, held by Department, with special cakes and snacks provided
- A virtual party with each employee Zooming in. Possibly with a specially delivered food/drink parcel to each employee. This could potentially work for a small organisation separated geographically
- Deferring a party until the rules are clearly established and then holding it sometime in January to start the new year off on a good footing
Holding it in December
With the introduction of the traffic light system, larger gatherings will be permitted, but subject to a filter of vaccination certificates. If vaccination certificates are not used, then holding a Christmas function becomes difficult. If vaccination certificates are used, then up to 100 people can congregate with distancing, seating and separation.
Alongside any of the above options, you could also consider carefully choosing gifts for each member of staff. These could take the form of individual gifts or a choice of vouchers from different suppliers
So, the options are limited, but the important point that won’t be lost on your team is that you have put some thought into what can be done, recognised the importance to them and you have made a decision to acknowledge their sterling efforts this year.
We are here to support you, so if you would like to talk through your situation, please give us a call on 09-445 1077.