Written by Tatiana Siegel, CNN
More employers are planning for the “experience” over the “yacht party” in their office holiday parties. According to industry experts, the trend is being driven by heightened stress and worry among employees. The results are simple: lower employee participation in holiday party festivities.
In the past two decades, the destination holiday party has been on the decline. While 2017 data from CareerBuilder .com found that nearly half of Americans take vacations that include on-site events like office parties, that number had dropped significantly from 34% in 2015 and 40% in 2012. In 2017, the average human resources manager surveyed said they planned two or fewer “professional” holiday parties in that year. However, that number has been steadily rising, according to a survey of 2,310 human resources professionals conducted by professional recruitment firm Advantage Resources.
“I think the soul is dying out of the traditional party,” said Jason Craigen, founder of TalentAccel, an agency that helps companies to find and retain top talent.
The more traditional “traditional” way to entertain employees is a “happy hour with your friends on Friday night, or a sushi party on Friday night,” he said. “But you get to hit the ground running if you don’t have traditional party like that. … We’re really influencing the events where people come.”
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for-profit career technology company, women on the talent team were concerned about the lack of diversity in the party set-up.
“The women on the team had never done a traditional holiday party, and there was talk of renting a theatre, where everyone would sit together with a bar and the cost was around $50,000,” Craigen said. “But they felt uncomfortable putting the women and men in a theater and expected everyone to do the same thing. The team agreed to have an informal event — a Christmas tree-trimming party. The company bought a bunch of trees to bring into a pub where they dressed up as characters and they had Christmas dinner.”