I know it’s a little too early to be mentioning the C word. However when it comes to work Christmas parties the saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” comes to mind.
It’s often down to the Practice Manager to ensure that the surgery feels festive in the run up to Christmas, and this needn’t be a chore nor costly if you follow our top tips. And no, you don’t need to spend December in a red hat and flashing earrings if you really don’t want to…
Invite staff members to opt in if they fancy, and get all of those involved to draw someone else’s name from a biscuit tin. Set a small budget like five pounds and agree on the date for present exchange. Piling up the wrapped presents – secure nametags essential – under an office Christmas tree or into a large festive sack kept behind the reception desk adds extra anticipation to the event. Presents are best opened all at once and together if possible, so see if you can co-ordinate this with a Christmas meal or drinks.
Getting everyone together at Christmas is challenging at the best of times, and no less in a GP practice where a large proportion of staff work part-time or only on specific days. But the sooner you instigate a little shindig the better, and this doesn’t have to be an expensive meal out if practice funds won’t allow. In all honesty, lots of employees just want to get home to their friends and family when December draws to a close, so a few mince pies, some Christmas tunes and a glass of mulled wine in the waiting room after hours might actually be preferable to a slap up meal out. Here’s a lovely mulled wine recipe if you fancy being on ladle duties for the evening.
We already know that you Practice Managers excel in all sorts of creative fields, so why not incorporate some good old baking into the practice’s festive program? Either invite colleagues to sign up to a cake and mince pie rota for the month of December, or make your Christmas get-together an afternoon tea with a festive twist. We’re thinking winter berry muffins, stollen bites, pannetone, chocolate yule log and plenty of tea – this can also be a joint effort if you have avid bakers on your team.
Other affordable festive fixes are decorating the waiting area and reception desk with paper chains or tinsel, and helping all partners find the time to write each employee a Christmas card that’s signed by them with a message of thanks for their hard work during the year. Cakes, tinsel and presents aside, the end of the year is a time for reflection and gratitude – so make sure you send your team home for Christmas feeling valued and appreciated for their efforts.