Planning a Great Holiday PartyAn annual holiday celebration can build morale, and no one needs that more than a busy team of stylists slammed with back-to-back appointments from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Whether you’re going simple or lavish, now is the time to start planning your gathering to reward and celebrate your hard-working staff:

Don’t go it alone. Form an activity committee with various members of your staff, including established employees who know and can honor your salon traditions and newer members who can bring fresh, fun ideas.

Get out of the salon. Let staff unwind by removing the party from their work environment. If a hotel or restaurant seems ho-hum or out-of-budget, consider an art gallery, ice skating rink or bowling alley. Or charter a bus, serve munchies and tour your city’s holiday light displays.

Create a giving opportunity. Most people like to give to charities during the holidays. Make it easy for your staff (and your clients) by organizing a food and clothing drive or a Toys-for-Tots campaign. Roll it into your décor by using your tree as a drop-off location.

Party responsibly. Keep in mind you could be held responsible if an intoxicated employee causes an accident while driving home from your party. Consider limiting alcohol consumption, providing employees with a ride home or setting up a designated driver car pool.

Consider timing. If you want to keep it an employee-only affair, opt for an afternoon celebration. If it’s an evening event, allow your staff to bring their spouse or a guest—it helps them keep the peace at home.

Keep gifts personal. Resist the temptation to give your employees a gift emblazoned with your salon logo. Select a personal gift for each staff member, or give a much-appreciated monetary bonus accompanied by a personal note of appreciation.