Is there a low-cost alternative to a big Christmas party? – StartupSmart

This article first appeared on December 17th, 2010.


I’m looking to reward my small team following a tough start-up year.


I don’t have a large budget for Christmas festivities, so are there any other inexpensive ways I can show my appreciation to my team?


One size doesn’t fit all. Before hitting the shops or planning for any festive celebrations it can be beneficial to ask yourself, “What would be a meaningful reward for each member of the team?”


Why you would bother to do this? Research shows that when it comes to reward and recognition, everyone holds a different viewpoint as to what is personally gratifying.


To give you an example, some people find social gatherings totally overwhelming and draining and would consider a party more of chore than a reward.


Others are struggling financially and would appreciate being offered a small bonus and then of course we have those extrovert social beings that would feel totally deprived if there wasn’t a social bash.


Admittedly you can’t please everyone but it is a perfect opportunity to spend a little time having a one-on-one chat and gaining an understanding of current needs and what each person would truly value.


This can also be win-win as it makes people feel personally valued and also gives you the heads-up on how to individually recognise and reward your team in the future.


If an external activity gains consensus you don’t need to dig too deeply to create a creative and memorable experience. If creativity is not your strong suit, turn to the internet for heaps of inexpensive and inspirational ideas.


Team building activities are becoming the preferred option as they allow people to get to know each other better, to experience something different and it keeps everyone communicating and sharing the experience.


So if you don’t have a lot of cash to splash, here are some relatively inexpensive ideas:

  • Amazing Race reality activities seem to be the hottest ticket item this year.
  • A country race meeting with picnic lunch and small pool of money.
  • Cooking classes where everyone can participate and the bonus is getting to eat what you cook or take it home.

Be mindful of your legal duty of care to ensure the safety of your employees, particularly if alcohol is involved.

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