December 18, 2008

Are corporate events appropriate in these economic times?

In December, many company employees took note of how the effect of the recession applied to them and their companies in the canceling or down-sizing of holiday parties. In the Business section of the Dallas Morning News, there was an article on how many local businesses of various sizes are still having company celebrations while cutting down on costs due to the current recession. The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis-St-Paul noted businesses there are cutting back on or canceling holiday events as well. Are you considering this option for your organization too? Do you still need a project celebration? Is a holiday or other annual department or corporate event preferred by your employees? What is the purpose of the gathering and will everyone understand if it is cancelled or expenditures for this purpose cut back upon? Should your event be for everyone no matter what their contribution or only those to be recognized for specific achievements? What are some alternatives you could offer as rewards and recognition other than a grand-scale night out or travel opportunity?

Remember when planning a recognition program that the 3 P’s of Rewards and Recognition are always important to its true success. The P’s mean rewards should be personal, proportional, and pleasurable. And recognition should be precise, principled, and prompt. Is an annual holiday or recognition event appropriate or should your organization being doing something more frequently? Please share with us what you do to provide celebrations and recognition in your organization as well as ideas for cutting costs on these activities for employee satisfaction.

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