Celebrating the work your team has done during the year with a holiday party is a tradition in many companies. There are countless articles describing what rules of etiquette employees should follow, but there is a lack of resources that help employers see what their role is in planning the party and how to make it as successful as possible.

Here we have outlined 8 tips to host your company’s best holiday party yet.

  1. Don’t hold it in December
    • While December is the traditional time to host your office party, there are many flaws with this timing. Hosting your party during a period in which your employees are likely filled to the brim with other plans – family events, spouse’s office parties, children’s school shows – will likely lead to low attendance. Have your party a week or two after the new year to ensure that the maximal number of employees can attend. Celebrate the successes of the last year, and have your team share their hopes for the new year.
  2. Thursday is the best day
    • Holding your party outside of office hours means you need to be cognizant of your employees’ previous engagements. Weekends are off-limits, and Fridays should be as well. Monday through Wednesday are too early in the week to host a party, which leaves Thursday as the perfect day.
  3. Don’t have an open bar
    • Feel free to have drinks and drink tickets, but open bars often lead to behavior that is not quite work appropriate. Save yourself the stress and limit employees’ alcohol consumption.
  4. Give gifts
    • Plan to give your employees party favors to show that you appreciate the effort they gave during the year. Depending on your office environment, host a raffle or gift exchange to have some fun.
  5. Avoid the theme
    • Although it may sound fun to have a themed office party, it likely is not worth your time. It will only add stress to you and your employees as people try to decipher if they should dress in theme or not. Skip the theme and skip the stress.
  6. Get the venue right
    • If your budget allows, try to host the party outside of the workplace. Hosting the party at a neutral location like a restaurant will make the event feel more special and will have your employees feeling more appreciated.
  7.  Provide food
    • You don’t want your employees to be hungry. If possible, provide entrees to everyone. If not, provide appetizers and hors d’oeuvres to keep your employees’ hunger at bay.
  8. Have fun
    • Mingle, get to know your employees and celebrate the work you have done this year as well.