Spill the Truth: How leaders work a party

Spill the Truth: How leaders work a party

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An attractive space, scrumptious food, lovely flowers and lively music impress partygoers. Unfortunately, even the most lavish party trimmings can’t guarantee that your employees will engage in the festivities.

As you help plan your company’s holiday party, be sure to act on two truths that apply to all internal communication efforts:

  1. Employees want to work for a company they believe cares about them as individuals.
  2. Employees need to see how their individual contributions impact the big picture.

So how does that play out at a holiday party? It’s simple—if you use these tips:

  • Don’t glom on to your cronies. Boys-club behavior screams elitism. Get out of your comfort zone and mix it up with the people who work for you.
  • Listen more than you talk. Ask questions such as “How long have you worked for us?” or “Do you have any pictures of your family?”
  • Seek common ground: Ask, “Where did you grow up?” or “Have you always lived here?”
  • Keep conversations light. After all, it is a party. However, if an employee introduces work-related topics, listen and interject with questions such as “Is there anything you wish the company would do for customers that we’re not doing now?”
  • Be specific with your gratitude. Avoid flippant comments such as “Thanks for all you do.” Instead say, “The work you do…forging strong relationships with the service organization…is what makes this company great. Thank you.”

Before you act . . .
Prior to the party, get to know your employees on a first-name basis. If you can’t meet them all individually, create a leader’s party guide complete with employee names, photos and basic details that you can study before the event. Getting to know your employees shows you care.

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