The Forum of Private Business is warning companies that they could alienate their workers, including umbrella contractors, if they scrap this year’s office Christmas party.
It is thought that at least 50% of small firms will cancel the annual festive party this year, but according to the FPB this could cause demotivate staff and leave them unwilling to go the extra mile for the business in the future.
Many SMEs are finding that cash is in short supply, but festive frolics don’t need to be expensive and the benefits of providing an annual get-together should not be underestimated, said FPB chief executive, Phil Orford. As well as motivating staff, these events encourage communication and reward employees when pay increases and bonuses are not a feasible option.
The FPB suggests that companies not providing a party should come up with other morale boosting ideas such as obtaining discount vouchers for meals and putting elaborate decorations up in the office. Demonstrating that you recognise the hard work done by your employees can mean more to them than a gift or financial bonus, the FPB added.
In addition to abandoning the traditional Christmas party, several SMEs intend to shut down for less time than they usually would over the festive period.
A survey conducted by Close Invoice Finance discovered that 36% of SMEs will be open for two days longer than in previous years and another 22% will cut the usual holiday by three days. Nearly half of the surveyed businesses said they were worried that staff would take sick days leading up to Christmas and many have reminded employees that they will face disciplinary action if they take unauthorised absence.
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Image: 123people christmas party 2010 by luca.sartoni