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With a whopping 64% of employees feeling “disengaged” and staff recruitment and retention costs at an all time high, employers are feeling like they need a drink.

The humble work Christmas party. Against a backdrop of chintzy tinsel and questionable decisions, even the staunchest of workplace rivals’ bond over some bubbles and canapes. The workplace Christmas party plays a pivotal role in managing office politics, all year round. See, it’s all about employee engagement. In these hybrid work times, following years of lockdowns and event cancellations, Australian employers have seen a significant dip in employee engagement, a trend that employers feel cannot be left unchecked until the end of the year. In a time of belt tightening, does it make sense to splurge on a Christmas in July event? The data indicates it does.

Half of all Australian employees have considered quitting their job in the last six months. Sales teams classified as “highly engaged” made 20% more sales. They give better customer service. They show up to work. They don’t quit. Highly engaged business units showed an 81% lower absenteeism rate and a 14% higher productivity rate than their disengaged workmates. Highly engaged businesses are on average 23% more profitable.

In a pre-covid study on Christmas party impacts on staff retention and performance, 66% of staff said working at a company that threw an annual shindig made them feel valued. Respondents suggested the only way to motivate them more was to provide a significant cash incentive.

So, what’s an employer to do? Financial incentives significant enough to improve culture are not on the table. Enter, Christmas in July. Google data indicates a steady rise in interest in a midyear event, after a clear halt to growth during the lockdown period. This year’s interest is growing faster than previous years prompting an increase in events and catering opportunities from the hospitality sector.


Christmas in July is like Halloween, people resist the idea as a foreign concept but, like all things Christmas, it’s an excuse to celebrate, have some fun, be around people you care about. For workplaces, it serves the unique purpose of helping bring together people who have forgotten they care about each other. I can’t imagine anything we need more than that right now.” Said Janine Mergler, magazine publisher.

Spending cuts are a natural reaction to economic uncertainty, but if it means mitigating much larger recruitment and staff retention costs, a team Christmas party is a modest investment that has the potential to deliver extraordinary ROI.



Business Marketing