You've probably seen it before: one of your co-workers standing up in front of the entire company forced to "play" a game they're obviously uncomfortable doing (you may have even been that person).
Though games are supposed to be fun in nature, the fact of the matter is that some of your employees simply don't like the stress and pressure of playing games in front of everyone.
Not all your employees are the kind that would love to get up on the stage to do karaoke, so you can't expect them to be thrilled at games that would put them in the spotlight, either.
And there's really no reason for you to alienate your workers if you don't need to, right? So if you really want your company holiday party to be a success, try picking games that won't single anyone out and make them feel uncomfortable.
There are plenty of large-group games you can play, like these...
Employee Trivia --
Before the party, ask your employees to send you 1-2 facts about them that their co-workers may not know about (the wackier the facts, the better!). Make sure they don't tell these to anyone else. Make a spreadsheet with all your workers' names listed on it on the left, and add their trivia in random order on the right with corresponding letters.
Hand out the trivia spreadsheets at the start of the party. Have your employees write their names on the top of their sheets, and take their best guesses at which fact came from which person. The employee with the most right answers wins a prize, though don't announce the winner out loud if that would make them uncomfortable!
This game can be played over the course of the entire evening, and works with pretty much any company holiday party theme you can think of (but definitely pairs well with the ugly Christmas sweater bash!).
Name the Holiday Song (Team)
This one's pretty straightforward, and you've probably played it before in one form or another. Download and collect lots of seasonal songs, either well-known or a bit more obscure. Figure out the rules you want to have, like if one team misses guesses incorrectly the opposing team gets a chance to guess.
Since you'll all be sitting down or in a large area for this game, make sure your holiday party venue has space for this event. At the party, separate your employees into two groups, each with their own buzzer or way to "ding" in when they have the answer. Play short clips of the songs and whichever team hits their buzzer first gets the chance to name the song (and the artist, if you want).
The team with the most correct guesses at the end of your song list wins.
Hide & Seek
You won't be hiding under your desks for this one! In this company holiday party game, you'll be hiding several items around your party venue (so the more interesting and complex the style/layout of this location, the better). We suggest buying seasonal products like ornaments of a different color than your theme.
Have yourself and some select staff members arrive early and hide the items around the venue. Feel free to get creative, like hiding one of the items in the ice bucket, but just make sure to keep a list of where they're all at. Tell your employees as they arrive that if they find one of the objects you hid, they can keep it.
This is just about the least-pressure game some your more shy employees could ever ask for. Anyone who wants to look for the hidden objects can do so while others sit back and enjoy the party!
Company holiday party games don't have to be all bad and embarrassing. You've got a range of options available that won't humiliate your employees, ones they may actually enjoy and think, "That wasn't so bad!"
Making everyone happy and joyous is what the season's all about anyway, right?
What was your most favorite game out of all your past company holiday party games?