I would be very interested to hear how you folk at SMEs approach Christmas Parties. All-Hands company events have had an interesting history over the last year at our organisation (which was 72 people strong in December last year). The event last year was held on a Thursday so as to allow Jewish employees to participate. The following day a sizeable number of engineers called in sick (big business impact).
This year we number 145 currently, probably 160 by December. Since sending out a "save the date" calendar entry, we've had responses from a Jehovah's witness and a Jewish member of staff to say they will be unable to attend for religious reasons and now a suggestion (from their UK-based manager, rather than from leadership) that due to the growing size of our Belgrade office, we do something separate for them.
I guess my core question is... Do businesses of a similar size hold all-hands events? Or, do you do more team-based events. What other activities to do you undertake to promote "one company"? I recognise this is a broad company culture and communication question, but really would be interested in approaches specific to winter/holiday/Christmas events.
We did manage to hold a semi-all-hands summer event (Belgrade not present) that fitted the cultural expectations of our diverse workforce, predominantly because it was outside, at a sports club, had a bbq, alternative communication methods than "death by powerpoint" and a good team-building event, but a) don't want to repeat and b) would be difficult in UK December weather.