Everybody wants to feel appreciated. It feels great to be recognized for working hard and making efforts toward a job well done. How can you help your employees feel appreciated in addition to merely announcing a sweeping thank you in an email to the group? Your company holiday party can be the perfect occasion to help boost employee morale, and end the season on a good note.

These 5 tips for your next company party can go a long way to make people feel connected to the workplace as well as to each other.

  1. Give out a few unique or humorous awards that lean toward a person’s unique style. Always keep these frivolous awards family friendly and in good humor without insulting anyone. For example, you could give an award for the messiest (or neatest) desk, most contagious laugh, accumulated the most mileage, most pet photos, and so forth.
  1. Set up a table with cards and envelopes so people can write a note to someone within the company, thanking them for helping them out during the year. They can drop it into a box on the table and someone can distribute the cards during the party. This small effort can make a big difference in morale.
  1. Have employees contribute photos of themselves as little kids and surprise everyone at the party with a huge photo display. People can write down and submit who they think each person is. It’s a great icebreaker and a fun way for employees to mingle.
  1. Participate in a charity drive in which employees can contribute a toy, a warm coat, canned good, or something along those lines. The act of giving to others has a powerful way of bringing people together.
  1. Another way to raise money for a good cause is to hold a silent auction or a raffle in which people bid on donated items or gift bags. Vary the prizes to include fun themes such as snacks that one would relish when staying late, karaoke night with the manager, or a basket one of the employees’ famous cookies. Again, individualizing it as much as you can will make people feel good.

Don’t forget that people feel appreciated when management goes out of their way – even a little bit. Good food, an upbeat and civilized party atmosphere, and some personal attention are all unspoken ways of letting your employees know that they matter.

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