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Hazendal's 7 Ideas for Hosting the Best Year-End Function

10 November 2021

Ideas for hosting the best year-end function are one of those topics that are always on the radar of innovative business owners, executive assistants and HR personnel. Why so?

Well, these functions are more than just a nice-to-have; it’s actually good for business.


Why year-end functions are good for business!

Year-end functions are a vital touchpoint along the annual employee journey. It provides your team with the opportunity to reconnect, take stock of the year and have a fun, shared experience outside the confines of the office (or their WFH locations!).

These are all building blocks of an employee experience that fosters optimal levels of engagement. Statistics show that less than 10% of the South African workforce is actively engaged. In short - South African employees are not feeling the love.

One way to take a step in the right direction is to create opportunities for employee recognition and reward inside and outside of the workplace. This is where year-end functions come in.

Here are a few insider insights from the Hazendal team when it comes to hosting the best year-end function EVER:


1. Venture off the beaten track (but not too far)

The best year-end functions are hosted offsite. Getting out of the office and interacting with peers, colleagues and superiors in a brand new setting is a very refreshing way to connect with the entire team. So, our recommendation is to always host a destination occasion if you can.

However, don’t go so far off the beaten track that transport becomes problematic. Hazendal is located a mere 20 minutes from Cape Town CBD, which makes it an ideal year-end function option for companies in and around the Mother City.

In fact, we have some great year-end offers, get in touch with us here. We’d love to make your function come to life.

The wine estate is just far enough from the city to be completely idyllic, but close enough to be convenient for shuttles and/or Uber trips.

2. Involve families if possible

If any of your employees have families, it can be worth your while to consider a year-end function that brings their kids and partners into the fold. For instance, Wonderdal at Hazendaloffers wonderful on-site entertainment for kids between 5 and 13.

Offering your employees the opportunity to bring along their sprouts, who will be taken care of while they enjoy the year-end function with their spouse, will save them the trouble of having to arrange a babysitter, etc. When you make things fun for the kids, it’s always fun for the parents and this speaks to a great company culture overall.

3. Make sure the food is exceptional

Whatever you do, make sure that the food you serve at your year-end function is truly excellent. In fact, we would go as far as to say that the success of any event hinges on the quality of the food and drink. If your employees are well-fed, they are far more likely to relax and enjoy the occasion with their colleagues. 

At Hazendal, we offer a range of culinary options that can be tailored to suit the needs of different groups. Our on-site chefs can create beautifully plated meals and wonderful harvest tables for sit-down events. However, if you want to go a little more informal and low-key, we can also offer fun picnic baskets, etc.

4. Add fun experiences to the mix!

While most companies consider a sit-down dinner and awards ceremony to be the best option for a year-end function, there is a lot to be said for adding some fun experiences to the mix. 

For instance, if you choose to host an event at Hazendal, you could invite your team to play golf, try out the driving range, go for a wine tasting, enjoy a Russian tea ceremony and more. These experiences could be added on before or after your official event or woven into the day - whatever works best for you.

5. KISS when it comes to speeches

Remember to KISS when it comes to speeches. Keep It Short & Simple. We know, we know - there are so few opportunities throughout the year when you’ve got everyone gathered in one place! So we get that there is a lot you want to say and convey on the day. However, nobody likes long speeches. It gets boring and people get antsy.

So, instead of plotting out the entire year ahead and turning the event into an exco meeting, rather say a few choice words and let your employees enjoy the rest of their day without too much focus on work. Which brings us to our next idea for hosting the best year-end function EVER.

6. Don’t eat into personal time

It can be tempting to schedule a year-end function to fall over a weekend or after hours to ensure that it does not eat into your company’s productive hours. However, you have to bear in mind that when you do so, you are eating into your employees’ personal time. This is why many teams find that people opt out of after-hours occasions when possible.

Instead, give your employees some time off to enjoy the year-end function at a time when they would normally be at work. This makes it so much more fun! Additionally, it helps to plan this type of event far in advance, so HR and team leaders are able to juggle work loads leading up to the day.

The last thing you want are people working themselves to the brink of burnout to make it to the year-end function or having to stay at the office and deal with emergencies on the day. There is literally no fun in that.

7. Crank up the recognition

The year-end function is a fantastic opportunity for upper-management to recognise the hard work their employees did throughout the year. This can take the form of formal awards handed out during the speeches portion of the event or simply be conveyed in person throughout the day.

In larger businesses, C-suite members are rarely in touch with their employees on a daily basis, so finding a way to weave it into the day (without making things a little awkward) is a great way to go.

A fun idea to consider is handing out ‘spot prizes’ at regular intervals throughout the day instead of doing it all in a row. This way employees can be surprised and delighted while they enjoy the rest of the proceedings, instead of having to sit through an hour-long awards ceremony.

Now you know! Now put these 7 ideas for hosting the best year-end function to good use and tailor a memorable occasion for your team.

Feel free to reach out to the Hazendal event-planning team if you would like to know more about what we offer on the estate and how we can help to bring your vision to life!

We look forward to welcoming you for a ‘Radostnoye Vremya’ (a ‘joyful time’ in Russian) at Hazendal, the destination for all your journeys. We hope this blog will inspire you on your journey.

By Hazendal

Hazendal Wine Estate

Hazendal Wine Estate

Stellenbosch, Western Cape Bakery / Patisserie, Breakfast, Cocktails, Country, Deli, Light Meals, Picnics, Pizza, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine bar

Hazendal is a one-of-a-kind winelands destination offering culinary experiences, cultural discoveries, premium accommodation, event spaces, golf facilities and a kid’s edutainment centre. ...