Party at the office, or cash in your pocket?

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Whether you're celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just the approaching New Year, some companies like to throw a part for their employees to celebrate.

But do employees really want the party?

Some of our viewers told Heartland News on Facebook, they would prefer money, instead of a party. A study published in Forbes said employees would opt for a cash bonus, a pay raise, or paid time off, over the office celebration.

But employees at Gates in Poplar Bluff, said they prefer a party with their co-workers.

"I go every year to all the functions," said Larry Earley, a Gates Corp. supervisor.

Earley has worked at Gates in Poplar Bluff for 15 years, and said each year he looks forward to the company Christmas Party.

Mike Kendle started at Gates this summer.

"It's something to do, you can just hand somebody cash, here you go, it's like giving somebody a gift card for Christmas, I didn't know what to get you, but here you go," said Kendle. "If you throw a party for them, it's more of an experience, not just a monetary issue."

He said as a new employee, it helps to see other employees.

"I do feel it brings everybody together, because you don't know everybody that works on the other shifts, so, you're like hey I see that person every morning when I'm walking in, and they're walking out," said Kendle.

"I like to be able to see smiles on people's faces," said Pat Sweeza.

Sweeza has worked at the company for 15 years, and has been on the activities committee for just as long. She said they keep up the holiday tradition because it's a great way for the employees to bond.

"We've got 3 shifts, and sometimes you don't interact with the others, except at something like that," said Sweeza.

"I've been here 15 years, and there's people I don't see other than the children's party or the adult Christmas party, because they're in other areas of the plant, just kind of brings everybody together," said Earley.

"It shows me that there's an appreciation for the employees, there and they want to show them that they're thought of," said Kendle.

Gates hosts two Christmas parties, one for employees and spouses, and one for the kids.

Earley said it's a great way to celebrate with his five kids, and his work family.

"I spend a lot of time here, so it helps them be a part of the people I spend all that time with as a supervisor," said Earley.

At the kids' party, the company gives a gift to each child.

"Those kids, they just had a ball, and most of them didn't want to leave when it was over," said Sweeza.

So whether the kids' party or employees only party, these workers said they prefer the celebration over the cash.

"Makes you feel like part of a family," said Sweeza.

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