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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Company Christmas Party Cancelled

Is your company canceling this year's Christmas Party? Let me know. I've become a source for journalists on the growing trend of companies canceling this year's event since my post The Company Christmas Party - Another Casualty of a Tough Economy

If your company is canceling this year's Christmas party:
  • How do you feel - indifferent, angry, relieved?
  • Is this the first year that you can recall the party being canceled?
  • Is your company doing anything as a "substitute" for the party (like having a small in-office social during work hours)?
If your company is not canceling this year's Christmas party:
  • How do you feel? Do you think of it as wasteful spending in this tough economy, or is the office party important to you and your coworkers?
  • Has the party budget been cut at all, or is it as big - or bigger - than ever?
  • If the budget has been cut, let me know how you're saving costs (cheaper location, less food, no free drinks, etc.)
By the way, these questions apply to Christmas parties, holiday parties, end-of-year parties, annual meetings or whatever you company calls the event.

Please tell us about your company Christmas party in the comments section below or email via the contact page. I'll use the stories when speaking with journalists, and you can choose to remain anonymous if you like.
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Anonymous said...

One company I used to work for charged for the annual Christmas party... in a good year. It was crazy, barely anyone showed up and the management were ridiculed for it. The next year they didn't charge and almost everyone showed up and a good time was had by all.

My theory is, if you have had an annual Christmas party in the past, continue to have it, but tone it down if budget demands. It is not a wasted expense, company morale is more important to productivity than the money spent on the party. If you never had one...don't worry, you're employees don't expect one. If you only have one when the manager remembers.... um.... well... if you have a manager that forgets Christmas... why do you still work there, they obviously don't care about their employees.

Anonymous said...

Although it's not official, word on the street is that the holiday party -- usually dinner at a higher-end restaurant -- will be scaled back this year. We'll have something catered either here in the office or in someone's home.

We're a small business, and this happened once before during a previous lean year. I don't mind, since I'd rather the funds stayed within the organization for more critical uses. No sense fiddling while Rome burns.

Anonymous said...

Two large Orlando law firms have announced that they are not holding their holiday parties this year. Instead, they will distribute the party budgets to several local community services.

A bunch of years ago, I chaired a women's business networking group. We decided to stop doing the $10 gift exchange. Instead, we chose a local community service (usually women or children-oriented), found out what was on their wish list, and each of our members contributed something from the wish list. We invited a rep from the community agency to come to our party, tell us about the work the agency did, and accept our gifts to the agency.

None of us needed another $10 whatnot, and the people served by the agency needed so much more. We felt we were doing more for our money, and many of our members spent more for the agency than they would have spent on a member-to-member gift exchange.

Anonymous said...

Beats me
but I am gathering coal for the heater
since I can't afford oil

Anonymous said...

We will definitely celebrate at Christmas time.

I strongly want to caution anyone against canceling a celebration for economic reasons. We need to keep a spirit of celebration!

Celebrating wins is a critical skill of good leadership, and it is part of deliberately flying in the face of "bad times".

Anonymous said...

Our company isn't doing a company wide Christmas party but rather if you want to do a Christmas party you can have it on your own, which is what some of the branches are doing. It makes it easy when the branches earn money on things that they do well it helps pay for those little parties everyone wants to have every once in a while.

Anonymous said...

We are not canceling. Given the budget, I don't find it wasteful, as our staff is distributed across many client sites. The budget has not been cut. I think we're doing a cruise around Manhattan.

We've had a good year, so this does not seem like an anomalous way to spend time, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Been quite awhile since there has been any Christmas parties due to the implied liability and "lack of funds".

Think that most larger corporations did away with those back in the "80's".

Anonymous said...

Personally I am not a big fan of Christmas parties as a whole, but for some places it is part of the culture. I am new at the place I work right now and will be going to my first Christmas party this year (if the birth of child #2 doesn’t preempt it). I have already heard stories that make me shudder.

However, if it is seen as an important bonding time and culture building event by the organization then they should not cut it. Companies should think about the message they are sending by cutting these events. In some cases it might invoke panic and paranoia in exchange for very little savings in the long run.

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I work for a very well known large entertainment company.
Word just came down that all parties will be cancelled this year.

I for one feel that if we don't reward the people who keep the wheels on the bus then how can we expect them to be happy about coming to work and doing their best work?

It is ridiculous to punish your people for the economy.

Anonymous said...

I work for a major car rental company. (Starts with "Enter" ends with "prise") and we just found out that our company Christmas party is cancelled.

I don't understand why they would do that to us. We were doing great before this stock market stuff started happening.

Screw the people who make your $$ for you. Good idea.

Anonymous said...

Our company isnt doing a company wide christmas party but rather if you want to do a christmas party you can have it on your own, which is what some of the branches are doing. It makes it easy when the branches earn money on things that they do well it helps pay for those little parties everyone wants to have every once in a while.

Anonymous said...

We just got the call yesterday that our Christmas party was cancelled. 'Economic reasons' were cited to explain it.

Employees are, to say the least, unhappy about that. Especially since the company-wide meeting that was encouraging everyone to stay creative and positive...

Anonymous said...

We just found out that our Christmas Party has been cancelled. I don't agree with cancelling our Christmas Party due to economic reason. It's sending the wrong message to our staff, our competitors as well as our customers. The message received from the cancellation is, "We work for a sinking ship. Bail Out!". I am sure it's not the intended message but that's the message that's being received.

Anonymous said...

My company, today told us they were canceling the Christmas party this year. It has been a downward slope for a few years now.

First the Thanksgiving turkey
then the Christmas bonus.. the summer picnic... monthly grillouts... bonus in general... raises... Christmas party...

Their response to anyone questioning it is, "You're lucky you have a job".

We wonder whats next, lights in our cube?

It is also noteworthy that the CEO, took home just over 9 million this year in bonus, on top of his 900,000 salary. For some reason no raise and no bonus did not apply to him or other top management.