According to experts, your typical office party doesn’t just lead to staff nursing hangovers the next day, it can actually lead to greater productivity and motivation.  Incentive &Motivation  spoke to the UK’s leading entertainment provider for parties Sunshine Events and software company CDL, who regularly hold office parties and events, to improve team work, staff motivation and staff retention to find out more.

Hannah Gilpin, Xtra Chairman for CDL said: “As a software company attracting and keeping the right people, with the right skills, is vital.  Creating office socials, is an important element of that, making sure that staff all feel part of the company and one big team.  As part of this we created our own social committee, Xtra, which I’m chair off, and through that we invest in a whole range of activities throughout the year, everything from Christmas parties, to company barbecues and social and campus events.”

Through the Xtra committee, Hannah has seen a marked rise in staff retention, which in turn has had a direct impact on the growth for the business. Hannah said: “Getting the simple things right in the firm, pays dividends.  So things like establishing a good work life balance, providing opportunities for professional development and importantly making a place enjoyable to work, where staff establish solid friendships with each other.  By investing this to create an “enjoy” culture, we’ve seen improved morale, and a more motivated workforce.”

Sunshine Events, which has worked with CDL and clients such as ASOS, is on the UK’s leading companies for corporate events and entertainment hire. They have seen a marked rise in firms investing in corporate events and in particular looking to offer different types of events, that create opportunities for staff to engage.

Sunny Sandwell, director of fun at Sunshine Events said: “We’ve seen a huge rise in businesses looking to offer more unique experiences for their staff, other than the traditional nibbles and knees up, which has been more typical in the past.  HR managers and business owners are now looking to create events that will promote staff to engage with each other, offer positive experiences and ultimately play a part in driving a great working culture and improving staff loyalty.

“We’ve worked with clients to provide everything from giant pop up fun fairs for an event, to creating virtual reality zones or giant play zones, with inflatable assault courses and gladiator style contest areas. Businesses want to create more wow factor for their events, something that will break up the often formal corporate events into something where people are mixing together and basically having fun.”

Hannah has worked with Sunshine Events for their own Christmas party, she added: “The key to developing parties and events that offer a real contribution to morale is to offer experiences where staff can engage with each other, but at the same time we need to keep things in people’s comfort zones, so staff don’t feel forced that they have to take part in something.  Our Christmas party is good example, we held a masquerade ball, which in itself got staff competing to create their own outlandish masks for the events. During the ball we offered traditional musical entertainment but also a range of experiences and events that staff could take part in if they wanted.  We had VR experiences, photo booths, roll a ball horse racing etc and it was a huge hit because it broke down the traditional black-tie dinner experience, into staff getting involved in the entertainment and engaging with each other.”

So with statistics out there suggesting that replacing staff costs businesses £4.1 billion a year and bad company culture costs £23.6 billion, maybe party power is the answer, or at least part of the solution?!