How to tackle the office summer party… as the boss


Traditionally, the office party attendee is split into two categories. There are those who can’t wait for it to happen. They already know what they’re wearing and have earmarked the colleagues who they “should do this more often” with.

And there are those who loathe the very idea of it. They have already made other plans – and if the party is taking place during work time – will 100% be pulling a sickie.

However, there’s a camp of partygoers who are generally forgotten, a tragedy considering they’re the reason anyone will be going to a party in the first place – the bosses.

So, if you’re a business owner wondering how you can navigate the office summer party, this post is for you. We’re going to look at some dos and don’ts for arranging and then enjoying (but not too much) your office summer party. Let’s get started.

Delegate but don’t make it tricky for the organiser

Arranging a party is hard work. If you’ve already got enough on your plate (understandable as a business owner), empower a valued member of your team by passing the job on to them.

Then, don’t micromanage.

Of course, as the boss you’re entitled to have the final say, especially when it comes to when and where the party is taking place, and who will be invited, but once the key decisions have been made – take a step back and let the organiser do their job.

Stay involved in the process without becoming an interfering presence. Yes, by all means, say if you’d like fish on the menu, but no – don’t veto an entire venue because they don’t serve white bait.

Triple-check your invite list

Once you’ve considered who the party is for (is it employees only or will business partners be coming too?), make sure that everyone who should be invited, is invited.

Do not forget about your remote workers, part-time workers, anyone on maternity/paternity leave, or long-term sick leave.

Simply put, your party must be inclusive.

Understand those that don’t want to attend

You’ll no doubt want all your employees to attend the party as, ultimately, work parties are team-building activities. But the fact is, not everyone will want to come and not everyone will come.

For some, the very thought of the party will fill them with anxiety; for others, it will be for practical reasons (a clash of plans, for example).

Regardless of the excuses being given, be considerate to the members of your team who are showing reluctance, even if the party is taking place during working hours.

Whilst events are a good way to get the whole team together and build a solid company culture, they’re not intrinsic to the success of your business, and so not worth alienating team members over.

Communicate properly

Your team will have questions about the party.

Ensure that everything is communicated to them in the clearest possible terms. When is it? Where is it? Is it an activity? Is an RSVP required? Is everything paid for? Are guests allowed? What is the dress code? What’s on the menu?

Pre-empt every possible question and save yourself a lot of time.

Set social media guidelines

If your business is big on social media, you’ll want to document the party properly.

Whilst the purpose of any work event should be to cultivate company culture, you can also use it as a tool to showcase your business. This is handy for recruitment reasons and boosting brand awareness.

Meet with your social media manager beforehand and map out a plan. You could even build a team of in-house photographers (and videographers) who can contribute.

It’s also important to brief all employees about your expectations regarding what they post to their personal accounts, as representatives of your business.

On the day, ensure nothing is published on your brand accounts without the approval of you or your social media manager. You may even want to wait until you’re back in the office, to give the appropriate person a chance to edit photos and videos and write suitable captions.

Brief your management team

If alcohol is going to be served on the day, whilst discussing expected behaviour with your entire team may be a step too far – you should talk to your management team about their obvious responsibilities.

Reiterate that you want them to have a good time, whilst also being mindful that is a work event.

Under no circumstances should they get involved in office gossip, or any discussions related to pay and other sensitive business subjects.

Decide how long to stay

As the owner of the business, you should consider how long you intend to stick around for.

If you just pop by to show your face, you may appear aloof or stand-offish. However, by staying for the whole event, you may stop your team from being able to relax (and get yourself involved in some uncomfortable conversations).

There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s totally up to you; but if you can, outline your intentions to your team before the event, to manage their expectations.

So, there you have it!

As the boss, it can be challenging to navigate social events with your team, especially when it comes to the ‘big’ ones, such as the summer and Christmas parties. We hope you have found our tips helpful.

1st Formations is the UK’s premier company formation service. We have helped form more than 1 million limited companies. If you’re looking to become your own boss and set up a company, 1st Formations will give you the best possible start. Start your company today.


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