If your go-to holiday party plans involve dinner at an expensive restaurant or a grand bash at a luxury hotel for your staff, it might be time to rethink how you reward your team at the end of a long year. Not only can oversized galas take a major bite out of your corporate budget, it also puts a lot of stress on administrative staff who, frankly, could be spending their time helping the business run. The holidays are no time to start thinking like Scrooge, but a number of corporate offices are rethinking their staff appreciation nights, and cutting down on the costs of big events because their employees want something different.
As Millennials begin to make up more and more of the workforce, their influence is being felt in corporate culture, and whereas more formal fancy dinners were standard in past decades, Millennials are eschewing formal events for more laid back outings – especially those with photo ops. Xbox Canada, for example, has moved its annual year-end nights to venues like the Backyard Axe Throwing League, or BATL, where participants learn how to throw axes and compete against each other, darts-style. While some of their locations across Canada are licensed with restaurants, others have a bring-your-own-food policy with counter and fridge space, so whether it’s hip charcuterie or humble burritos, you can make it your own.
Tie-and-jacket events are losing favor with younger employees while photogenic events with a unique spin or an activity like axe throwing are becoming increasingly popular. Hosting a BATL axe throwing party might be one of the most Instagram-friendly holiday events you can imagine, and your staff will love the chance to let loose rather than tighten their ties.
In recent years, even the largest corporations have scaled back their holiday events, and while trimming the budget can work well if you skip the stuffy dinners and do something more exciting this year, business leadership experts suggest that cutting back too far, or getting rid of it altogether, may lead to larger issues with employee dissatisfaction. Smarter companies are putting a new spin on the event, such as booking more active evenings like axe throwing at BATL, or moving the scheduling of their party from December, when life is hectic enough as it is, to more relaxed dates in the summer.
Whenever you decide to show your team you appreciate their hard work, think outside the box and keep in mind that it’s not just a show of your appreciation, it’s also a chance for your team to bond outside of the office. Rather than standing around awkwardly chatting and drinking a little too much, do something active and competitive, but still casual. The axe throwing pitch is a great place to compete without causing conflict, and it can be a great way to relieve stress after a busy finish to the year. Book your axe throwing party today and start planning smarter holidays.