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Year-end corporate parties aren’t what they used to be, and even if they were, conservatism within today’s office culture would grind them to a vinyl-screeching halt. What’s not to love about a celebration with co-workers, drinks, dining, and dancing? Apparently, everything.

According to a recent poll, 90% of us would rather take a bonus check or extra vacation days than attend the company year-end party [source: Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, Inc.]. The truth is that only 20% of today’s professionals maintain strong personal relationships at work [source: GALLUP]. When you consider the prospect of attending a large social event full of co-workers with whom you have little personal connection, coming up with interesting conversations, and doing your best to maintain a sense of professionalism in front of bosses and leadership, it’s no wonder these events are daunting for most. Year-end parties these days lack purpose, and although they are well-intentioned, much of their value gets lost in the stress of attending.

Creating year-end events with purpose starts by moving away from the idea of ‘party’ altogether, and focusing more on the ‘celebration’ of your workforce. Doing so means considering your company’s purpose, the reason you exist that inspires your teams to perform at their very best every day. How can you best celebrate these values? How well does this celebration represent who you are as a company? When celebrations are an extension of a company’s core values, employees relate to them in more meaningful ways, making these events more enjoyable and more powerful.

When considering a purposeful year-end event, consider the following ideas to help energize your workforce and build strong teams.

Think Small – Rather than go for a one-size-fits-all solution, consider hosting smaller events among teams or subsets of your company. The intimate setting is less intimidating and encourages individuals to interact with co-workers more so than they would at a large event. This not only energizes and connects the people who work together most often, but also allows executives to engage with employees on a more personal level. Smaller events also allow you to be more nimble in terms of the experience, and offer a celebration that can be tailored to each team.

Do Some Good – Nothing brings people together like doing good for others, especially during the season of giving. Rather than the expected food, drinks, and dancing, consider a corporate social responsibility event to bring your teams together around helping others. The good vibes can always carry over into a celebratory cocktail party following, and your teams will have some wonderful stories to share.

Did you know SongDivision organizes music-related CSR opportunities for companies? Connect with us to learn more.

Emphasize Engagement – People love activities at events to take the stress out of having to continually make conversation. Create an environment of shared experiences that gets people interacting, making new friendships, and forming strong bonds. Nothing has this ability quite like music, and events like our Song Slam where your teams compete against each other in a friendly songwriting and performance competition with a world-class backing band, is perfect for a year-end celebration.

Conveying your purpose throughout everything you do is critical to authenticity and employee buy-in. This festive season, celebrate your teams with events that equally represent who you are as a company as well as they do entertain.


Looking for more ideas to create year-end and future events with purpose?
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