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Should you have a Staff Xmas Party this year?

Business coach Mark Skelly explains why there can be only one answer to this question. Yes!

Your business is likely in one of two places right now: Either this year has been really hard financially due to Covid, or since lockdown ended you’ve been busier than ever and are overloaded just keeping up with work. Due to this, there is quite a lot of discussion at the moment about whether businesses should have a Christmas party for their teams or not.

I am firmly of the opinion that you should.

2020 has been a hell of a year. Staff have been asked to go on lower wages. Owners have worked crazy hours and faced huge uncertainty. The stress has been horrendous. For many businesses, the financial situation has also been fraught. If you’re one of those businesses and you’ve been running an austerity budget, you might be thinking that now is not the time to spend money on a party. This may feel especially true if you’ve been telling your team that things

are tight and you’ve been holding back spending.

Or you might be in a situation where lots of other landscapers are right now, where you’ve been absolutely flat tack with work and are having record months… and you are so far behind on jobs and your backlog that you just don’t feel that you can justify losing the time needed for a staff party.

That all makes sense but here’s another perspective.

Irrespective of which of those situations you’re in, I’m very confident guessing that you’re knackered. You are feeling the

fatigue. It has been a long year running on adrenaline and holding your breath hoping things will improve, and/or then handling a big upswing in business.

Here is the key point: your team are knackered too.

The single biggest reason I can give you to have a staff Christmas party this year is to say thanks to your team (and yes – they should be saying thanks to you too – but that is an article topic for another time).

You have been doing it hard and so have they. As well as their own potential job uncertainty, they have had all the other pressures of their home life too: partners jobs, their parents, their friends and the general uncertainty that exists

everywhere in the world this year.

So yes, have a party. Do something to say thanks. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It just needs to be something for your team to feel appreciated, for them to feel that you are grateful. Show them and tell them they are important. There is simply no better way to build the team you want than by showing real appreciation. A team that feels appreciated works harder, is more conscientious, and strives to deliver higher quality work.

So, the cost of your Christmas party, this year especially, will be minuscule when compared to the return it can get you from your team.

This article was written by Mark Skelly, a director of Red Hot Business Coaching and President of Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Keen to get in touch? Contact him via


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