PARTY TIME? Workers at Priority Management Group discuss holiday-party benefits. From left: account manager Carla Rappa, Executive V.P. for Marketing and Technology Robert B. Skeffington, CPA Richard A. Santilli and Director Kristie Sellviveiros.
Jeremy Crisp and the other managing partners at Nail, a Providence communications agency, like to think of their employees as machines – sort of.
“If we had a factory and a machine on which all our wealth depended, we’d take good care of it,” Crisp said. “In our business, that machine is our people and we take the best care of them we can afford.”
That care includes an annual holiday party – something the company hasn’t let slide even in tough economic times and plans to continue this year.
While Nail didn’t have to consider whether to reinstate an end-of-year party for employees following the albeit slow economic recovery, their commitment to rewarding staff for a year of hard work fits with the trend of more companies than in recent years.
According to the 2012 Challenger Holiday Party Survey of human resource executives, 83 percent of corporate companies are planning year-end parties this year, up from 68 percent in 2011.
The annual survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based global outplacement and workplace consultancy firm, also reported that 10.3 percent of human resource professionals said their companies were holding a holiday party after one or more years without one and that 17 percent said more money is being budgeted this year for a party.
The trend applies to small businesses as well.
An American Express survey released last month reported that about 40 percent of small-business owners plan to throw holiday parties and that about 35 percent will provide employee bonuses, a 6 percent increase from last year.
Only 20 percent of small-business owners responding to that survey said they had no holiday-specific plans to reward employees.
“In regards to holiday parties coming back, we certainly see a resurgence,” said Rick Simone, president of Bella Consulting and Events, Providence marketing, public-relations and event-production firm. “In addition to more of our clients doing them again, our clients that service these events are seeing an increase in bookings this year.”
Bella Consulting hosts a staff holiday dinner and Simone said he then throws a “much bigger” party at his own home.
He also said that many of his clients, including several restaurants as well as Rhode Island businesses, who did host parties last year are doing so this year.