How many people have you heard say “Wow, it’s December – where has the year gone?” A few, I bet. It seems to me that the month of December is a shock to people when it arrives, which is slightly bizarre, because it happens every year at the same time. But, by the time this issue of FishHead comes out it will be very close to December, which brings me to some particularly pertinent questions.
Will you be throwing a holiday or end-of-year party for your staff? Does your business give hampers or gifts to your people to thank them for their hard work over the year? Is their salary or wages enough reward for that?
And if you do have planned entertainment to celebrate the year, do you squeeze it in during December, or is it a kick-starter to welcome people back after the holidays? Perhaps you stage a middle-of-the-year event to break up the winter? Or, like us at BW Chartered Accountants, maybe you have an end-of-year event and a mid-winter celebration? I know, lucky us, right?
Personally, I believe in team celebrations. Not for every little thing in business, but an event or two that brings everyone together to let off a bit of steam, to socialise and to get to know each other in a fun setting. Over the years as a team we’ve gone to a Bon Jovi concert; had a half-day of activities, including the filming of Seven Days; been tenpin bowling; and even held a party at my house in Makara, where we played golf on the local course. We only played one hole, but still, we had fun together and really celebrated the work of the year. This year, we’re off to the races at Trentham.
It doesn’t need to be a lavish or expensive affair. Big corporates in New Zealand had a reputation for spending up large in the earlier part of the decade, but it seems most of those businesses have dialled down their efforts quite considerably and are now offering a modest celebration, but with the blessing for their teams to continue the partying once the company offering has been exhausted.
As a small family business, our end-of-year functions always include ‘plus ones’. The lead-up to Christmas is busy enough without asking staff to spend more time away from partners. Even if staff don’t have a significant other, they can bring a friend. We’ve had one new, school-age employee who invited her mum. Having others involved also helps steer conversation away from ‘shop talk’.
I feel our team appreciates the events we run. For us, having an end-of-year event boosts morale and makes people feel valued in their contributions. And I enjoy getting out with my team, too!
About Peta Walker
Peta is FishHead’s enterprise writer. A born and bred Wellingtonian, Walker is owner of BW Chartered Accountants and a long-term business adviser — she is currently fighting all the usual accounting stereotypes.. and winning. Loving long walks in the hills, her long-term ambition is to walk the entire Te Araroa walkway: at about 100 kilometres per year this is a 30-year project. She lives on a Makara lifestyle property that is also home to Pester and Lester the chickens, and cows French, Door, Blue and Vein.
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