Formal sit down vs. Informal picnic
A holiday party is a chance for all employees to connect on a more personal level without the bonds of work deadlines and pressures. Whether it’s a formal sit down dinner or an informal picnic, both of these gatherings provide this opportunity. Having participated in planning and executing both types of parties, I have found that the informal picnic not only has greater employee participation, but more positive feedback. As a result it is my opinion that informal picnics, open to all employees, is not only more successful but has a more lasting effect when attempting to create a cohesive working environment.
Both a formal sit down dinner and an informal picnic allow an employee to socialize with coworkers without work related formalities; the only agenda being to relax and have fun. Seeing a coworker outside of one’s work environment makes them more of a person and less of a source of information relating to your job. Getting to know this person and finding areas in which you connect can create common ground that could result in a more productive working relationship. It is also an opportunity for employees to socialize outside of their normal department or with coworkers they would normally have less direct contact with.
A formal dinner provides a more structured tone. It creates a blocked amount of time for coworkers to interact; however, by including only employees the conversation is more likely to be business related. Discussions have a higher chance of turning to projects, timelines and deadlines. This can limit the success of coworkers connecting and relaxing on a more personal level. A formal party can potentially create higher stress on an employee when factoring in the additional time away from family, potential cost of formal wear and the balancing of home and work responsibilities. In addition, the formal sitting arrangement limits the coworkers an...