There is no better time than this year’s office party to let your colleagues know how much you appreciate their hard work and great attitudes. Ellen Dunnigan, public speaking coach at Accent On Business, offers our annual tips on providing memorable toasts at the holiday office parties.
Thank individuals for their contribution to the company. If your group is small, mention each person individually. In larger firms, thank teams or departments who succeeded in special initiatives or projects. Thank your partners and alliances, especially if they are sponsoring your company celebration. Be as specific as possible in your “thank you”, for example, “Thank you, Susan, for keeping us organized and managing our project calendars”. (We call this the “Power Thank You”.)
Share specific kudos about your team members with their spouses. You know, it doesn’t get much better than hearing that all of one’s efforts and long hours are being recognized. And saying this to the spouse lets the spouse know you appreciate his or her sacrifices and support, as well.
Allow your employees’ children to hear of the contribution their parent makes to your company. Talk about those values you would want your own children to hear; perhaps “commitment”, “integrity”, “work ethic”, “fairness”, “team work” or other wonderful qualities. Be an inspiration to those children, after all they just might be your company’s future leaders.
Highlight the Future
As the year winds down, it is appropriate to turn your attention to the coming year’s main events and the contributions each employee can make. Talk about company goals and make sure you use words and a tone of voice that will help people remember these goals as they enter the New Year. Try placing extra stress on the most meaningful words and be passionate about your excitement for the coming year.
Introduce New Associates
Acknowledge new team members by asking supervisors to briefly explain each person’s job responsibilities and note something humorous or special about the newcomer.
Remember Special Circumstances
Don’t forget to offer a fond memory and kind words for the dear colleagues who have passed on, or are not able to be with you because of illness, injury, military duty, or other reasons.
Offer a Memorable Toast
Your employees want to know you appreciate them and recognize that they want to work with wonderful people. Smile and offer a toast which encourages them and makes them feel good about their ongoing commitment to you and to their company. Use these classics for inspiration —
· Here’s to all of us, God bless us everyone! (Tiny Tim’s toast from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol)
· Wishing you more happiness than all my words can tell, not just for the holidays, but for all the year as well.
· To us and our success as a group this past year, and to you and your families for health, peace, and more wonderful times in the coming year.
– Here’s to a bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; Here’s to the things that are yet to come, and the memories that we hold.
Above all else, may your celebration and your New Year be filled with laughter, energy, and goodwill for all!