10 Nov 2016

Why Your Xmas Party Is More Important Than You Think

“You gotta fight, for your right, to party

Your career depends on it!

With the silly season fast approaching, it’s time to think about your upcoming social calendar and fitting everything in. If you’re like me, you probably already have a few Christmas event requests on Facebook and before long, you will be double and or triple booked.

One of the events I look forward to the most is the annual Spectrum Group Christmas party. Before you assume it’s because you get a day off work and there is an abundance of alcohol, that’s not what floats my boat. In PR, free alcohol becomes a weak hook after a year of putting on and attending events. What gets me excited is spending time with my team in a social setting, a place where we can relax, be ourselves and get to know each other a little better.

With tales of start-ups offering table tennis and never-ending snacks, creating a positive work environment is now an important consideration for every organisation, especially in industries where an attractive offer is just around the corner. And it’s not just about retaining talent, with one study finding that happy employees work 12 per cent harder.

Consequently, your Christmas shindig is about so much more than getting your staff onto a Party Bus. It’s about setting the tone for your company for the year ahead.

Team Culture

Finding a great place to work isn’t always easy and working in a team environment that is fun, creative, a little bit wacky, yet very supportive is almost as unique as a magical unicorn. The difference is that such workplaces do exist.

For me, team spirit and a positive culture are quite possibly the two most important aspects of the workplace. When workloads get demanding, having a team of legends is often the most powerful reason I get up and come into work each day. For this reason, I truly love socialising with my co-workers and getting to know a different side of them from what goes on in the office.

Pursuit Of Happiness

As lame as it might sound, the pursuit of happiness is a key driver in life and implementing that philosophy into the business model makes sense to me. It’s something that must start from the top and trickle down to the wider team.

If you can hire good people and set the right mood, everything else seems to fall into place. It doesn’t stop having to work crazy hours sometimes, but it does create a powerful dynamic where each person feels as though they belong to a team and we all have each other’s backs.

Events such as our annual trivia night, CBS Interactive’s Halloween Fright Night and of course Melbourne Cup are the main events that kick off our party season. From each event, you can see the team getting closer to each other. These events are crucial to developing a prospering team, one in which members want to be there, and are not watching the clock and waiting for the first person to leave.


Dealing With Conflict

Building positive relationships with anyone takes effort and the workplace is no different. Not everyone needs to be BFFs, but they do need to treat each other with respect. It’s hard to learn about people’s quirks when they sit in the office with headphones on all day and you don’t work with them directly. Outside the office, it’s easier to get to know them, their likes and dislikes. You may even discover their religious and political views, which makes it easier to avoid unintentionally stepping on their toes. This is crucial when businesses often have such a diverse mix of talent.

Not everyone is going to get along in a team, but when you see these people every day for a large portion of the day, it’s not hard to see why bonding with team members is a good thing. Having an office which has a foosball table in the corner and a table tennis table in the breakout room, doesn’t excite me in the way that going out and socialising with the team does.

Welcoming New Peeps

When hiring staff, it’s so important to initiate them into the team.  If I can be boastful for a second, this is something that Spectrum excels at, largely stemming from our warm-hearted social butterfly of a business manager. Whenever someone starts with us, they receive a plant and several other office knick-knacks such as rubber bands and a passion fruit drink which symbolise growth, flexibility and passion, respectively. We also welcome them with afternoon tea and play get-to-know-you games.

If you have staff that work from home, whether in Australia or overseas, making them feel included and a part of the workplace culture is paramount. It’s also much harder, but can be done.

A sense of community is important because your colleagues are often the ones that hear about what’s going on in your life, the ups and the downs. It’s not like Facebook where you can filter the highs and lows of your life, they live and experience it with you. Which is why, this Christmas, your organisation needs to fight for your right to party.



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