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The Psychological Benefits of Office Holiday Parties

The Psychological Benefits of Office Holiday Parties

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By Susan Hoffman
Contributor, Online Career Tips

Having the right type of company culture makes a difference in employee engagement and retention. Celebrations such as holiday parties are the perfect time to demonstrate that culture. These celebrations have several psychological benefits:

1) Morale improvement — Holiday parties offer a fun chance to relax during the workday. There is also the opportunity to chat informally with coworkers, get to know them better and understand their roles in the company, which can be especially useful for new employees.

2) Decrease in stress levels and increase in productivity — According to the American Institute of Stress, job stress is “far and away the major source of stress for American adults and has escalated over the past few decades.” It is easy for employees to get overwhelmed by a heavy workload, feel stressed out and develop health problems. But holding a party such as a holiday potluck lunch gives employees a fun event that they can anticipate.

Also, by taking a much-needed break for a holiday celebration, workers can relax and ease their level of stress. When they return to work, these employees tend to become more productive because they are more relaxed.

3) Opportunities for team-building exercises — Holiday parties offer the chance to play games where members of one department compete against another for fun. These games are good team-building exercises and a way to let employees and managers build more trust in each other.

Team-building games improve soft skills such as communication, leadership and creativity. They provide employees with an opportunity to become familiar with co-workers outside their own department and learn who they are and what they do.

TeamBonding writer Samantha McDuffee notes, “After completing team-building activities together, employees better understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This understanding helps them work even better together on future progress vital to a company.”

All employees want to feel appreciated and valued, and holiday parties are an ideal time for recognizing hard workers. Company parties can create office traditions, which also help employees feel a sense of connection to the company.