Rethinking Your Company’s Holiday Celebration Event – Thoughts and Ideas for Maximizing Impact
As the holiday season is fast approaching. many organizations are into their planning for their holiday parties and meetings — sometimes with the hope of improving communications and collaboration and maybe having a bit of fun at company expense. And why not, since people do need to come together to improve working relationships and since the daily workplace these days offers so few “water cooler conversations” and a lot more of the less personal “emails across the cubicle” kinds of connecting.
Two relationship things also stand out insofar as impacts on business results:
- According to Towers Watson, highly-engaged companies have 44% higher operating margins. This probably comes as no surprise, since people who feel connect act more connected. We all know engagement is good for the bottom line.
- Sirota’s ongoing research continues to positively confirm that the biggest single influence on employee attitudes is the behavior of their immediate manager. Improving that relationship is critical to build alignment and rapport.
So, doing something to build relationships is important in addition to fun. And if you have not held a holiday event for economic reasons, maybe this is a good time to consider doing something that has business improvement impacts along with other positive impacts on people and performance. For some workers and managers, such a business training event will be something new and for others, a reminder of how things could be if we all focused on those shared goals and desired outcomes. Show them that you are committed to improvement by hosting a performance improvement event.
The big question for executives is this: How can you focus on impacting engagement, collaboration and teamwork and improving communications in a cost-effective and impactful way, one that makes business sense?
These will not happen simply because people share food at a pot luck. They come in, get food, eat, and then often walk away.You can expect things to actually look something like this:
And, people will also tend to hang with their friends instead of make better connections with other people elsewhere in the organization. Can I hear you say, “boring?” Or at least un-impactful…
One key is to “play with performance” and generate some common thoughts and feelings about the workplace and possibilities for improvement.
There are any number of ways organizations approach this opportunity to bring employees together. Money is spent entertaining people most often through food and social festivities that not everyone approaches with a positive attitude. Be it a gathering around a sporting event or other entertaining activity, a casually catered party, an employee pot-luck feast or even a more formal after-work affair, the end result is that the typical get-together so often flows into the same people who normally talk with each other generally grouping together causing little real inter-organizational interaction or kinds of discussions. And, you can pretty much guarantee that not much real impact will occur insofar as changes in behavior or improvements in any kind of results.
As a Christmas gift, why not do an effective team development exercise, one designed to identify areas where people feel the organization is competitive and not collaborative and one designed to produce alternative choices and increased engagement in your shared mission and goals? Invest in a fun learning event designed for workplace improvement. Your people will sincerely appreciate having the chance to talk about issues and opportunities and implement changes in how things get done.
Our Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine exercise is ideal as an overall energizer that not only allows people time to enjoy some fun and camaraderie but elegantly sets up a superb learning event. The play of the game culminates with a powerful debriefing, linking game behavior to workplace issues and can focus on outcomes specific to your own organization.
If cost is an issue, you can relax knowing that Dutchman is one of the best values out there as far as cost per participant. You have options available that include either purchasing the game (at a one-time cost) or renting the game. The decision is yours to make and you also receive a satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
The Search for The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine is a full-blown, extensively supported team building exercise / simulation, one that generates a great deal of fun and collaboration but that also serves as a framework to discuss business improvement ideas. It is easy to learn how to deliver, with a couple of hours of preparation time required and any amount of support available from me, the program designer and developer. You can schedule this event the same day as your office party, using it as a ramp-up energizing activity.
Dutchman is ideal as part of your company’s holiday celebration because it:
- Brings employees together in a way that strengthens camaraderie, provides a fun and unique experience, and leaves people feeling optimistic about their workplace.
- Gives something back to the organization through Dutchman’s highly acclaimed Debriefing discussions and focus on collaboration and improving organizational performance.
- Is inexpensive! Simply rent the game and receive all the instructions, materials and support needed for any number of people. Check here to find out the cost of renting for your group size. Purchasing Dutchman is also an option.
- Creates a fun Southwestern theme that can also be applied to your festivities through both food and decor. For instance, a barbecue luncheon or Southwestern dinner menu with decorations to match.
You’ll have the success of a globally-appreciated exercise with your
And there are no issues with timeliness, as in, “Can we do the game this year?” It takes a couple of hours of preparation time, even for a large group. All you need is a venue that will allow for tables of 5 to 6 people each and a projection screen. We can send the complete, packaged exercise (including accessories) and we can coach you in design and delivery, including your focus on achieving your specific desired impacts and outcomes.
If you have questions about how this might work, please give me a call and I would love to understand your issues and desired outcomes and talk about whether the exercise would be a good fit. We get rave reviews from users and have been selling and supporting this program for more than 20 years in all kinds of organizations, worldwide.
For the FUN of It!
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Scott’s blog on themes of People and Performance is here.
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a Certified Professional Facilitator (IAF) and a Certified Professional Trainer (IAPPD) and he has been supporting the exercise since it was developed back in 1993. Rest assured that you can do this!