Tips for throwing a great end of year function

The holidays are getting nearer and it’s almost time for the end of year office function! Your employees probably need a morale boost, and you all probably need to let off some steam. Your end of year office party is a chance to put work behind you and kick off your vacation. Here are our tips for how to make the best of it.

Delegate roles

There is nothing as demotivating as having to plan an entire office party all by yourself – and then get stuck will all the cleanup! Getting people involved will also make them care more about the event. To divide roles efficiently, first decide which activities you want and then ask for volunteers. You could also ask for suggestions for activities. There will probably be someone who loves to organise or plan certain party games. Who knows, you might find that one of your employees loves designing pub quizzes, and another makes piñatas as a hobby.
To add another level to the delegating, you could let employees bring their own cooking or baking to the function (just make sure you reimburse them for the supplies). A great way to end the evening is to hand out little token gifts to the ones that helped organise. This might also make other people more likely to help out in the future. 

Don’t overplan

You want to find the right balance between structure and down-time. Too many planned activities and people will feel like they’re at sports camp. Too few activities and the party might get dry. Instead, prepare one central activity (i.e. a treasure hunt or quiz), a few games that can be played at any time, plus a speech somewhere in between. Make sure everyone has enough time to mingle, but enough things to do. 

Get the conversation flowing

There are two things that should never be dry at a function – the cake and the conversation. You want to give your employees the chance to relax, to get to know each other outside of work. To make this easier, try putting ‘conversation starters’ all across the room. That way, if anyone runs out of something to say, they can just pick from the ‘party jar’ and get it started again! You can write your own conversation starters or find suggestions online

Games games games!

Nothing breaks the ice like a fun challenge, especially one that gets people up and out of their seats. Prepare a variety of games – include puzzles, humour, and competition vs teamwork. If you are part of a big office, you might want to set up a few ‘game stations’ so that people can drift in between and get a go at everything. Games are great for smart competitive employees who maybe struggle to socialise on their own. To get people mingling, make sure that teams have a mix of people from different departments. You can also give out prizes for the winners!

Make sure there is something (and enough) for everyone!

There is nothing worse than running out of sausage rolls. There is also nothing worse than being a vegetarian at a party with only sausage rolls. You want to be inclusive at your end of year function, so make sure that you have a variety of food and drink. You need to think about things like allergies, religious eating guidelines, special diets and whether or not people drink alcohol. For this reason it might be helpful to send out a survey asking people what they can and cannot eat, and plan your menu based on that. Our catering suggestion is to do the food buffet style. This keeps planning simple, and lets everyone choose what they take. It also keeps things dynamic – people have to get up and move around if they want to get their food. 

Here at the POD we know that the office isn’t always all about hard work – it can also be about fun! Bring the fun into your office this holiday season. Let’s say goodbye to 2020 and hope that 2021 will have some better things in store for us.