Do employees really want the company holiday party?
- A Randstad study on the annual holiday party reveals that a whopping 90% of workers would prefer bonuses or extra time off to the company-sponsored event. While some workers enjoy all aspects of workplace holidays, the holiday party is a stressful event for some, the study shows. Randstad polled 1,232 employees over age 18.
- While workers gave cookie swaps (11%) and office gift-giving (9%) low ratings, they gave high ratings to "holiday spirit in the workplace" (54%) and "happier/ more generous colleagues" (41%). Their highest rating went to holiday philanthropy (75%) because they believe their employer should participate in such activities as donating to food drives or charities.
- In other key findings, 62% of respondents feel pressured to attend the employer's holiday party, especially younger workers (74% of 18 to 24-year-olds feel pressured to go). Also, 77% of workers said their employer is sensitive to coworkers of different faiths and cultures when planning holiday activities.
Philanthropy rates high among workers so it's not surprising that during the season of giving, employees would give philanthropy their highest rating among holiday activities. Employers can boost employee engagement by providing volunteer opportunities.
Employers may want to poll their own employees about the necessity of the yearly holiday party. But overall, workplaces have become more sensitive to cultural differences among staff as the workforce becomes more diverse. Spotify rolled out a a flexible holiday program that allows employees to take off the actual days or holidays they observe, rather than settle with the "typical" days off. Workers can take any day they choose. The program might not be suitable for all workplaces, but it's the kind of creative initiative that supports diversity and inclusion.
Either way, employees are still plugged into the office while taking time off to celebrate the season, according to the Randstad survey. Employers can encourage workers to minimize the time spent checking work emails and voicemails so they can return to work refreshed.