It’s that time of the year again when workplaces around the country are actively engaged in answering a single question: How do we celebrate the holidays in a meaningful and safe way?
Last year’s celebrations were largely done as online events and the trend will continue this year, but to a lesser extent as we see more in-person events being planned than at any time during the past 20 months.
This is a great opportunity for us to share what some of our clients are doing this year, as well as our own ideas and thoughts about having a joyful and safe holiday season. And remember, having a party is not just about having fun (although it is a requirement!) – it’s also an opportunity to do some team building and strengthen and celebrate your organization’s culture.
In-person events (both indoors and outdoors) are back and with that are some of the more traditional events such as:
1. Sharing a nice meal and drinks in restaurants and banquet halls. Throw in an ‘ugly sweater’ competition and this event is sure to be a hit!
2. Renting a bowling alley for your team to reconnect in a fun and playful way and is a good way to provide an outlet for some of the more competitive personalities around the office.
3. Escaping from an ‘escape room’ where teams are competing against each other in a battle of wits and problem solving.
4. Renting an epic home through one of the many vacation home rental agencies. Just be sure to party responsibly!
5. Celebrate individual achievements by holding an ‘Office Awards Banquet’ where individual achievements can be recognized.
6. Send your team on a Scavenger hunt – have your team search far and wide for clues and the ultimate prize in this great team bonding/building exercise.
7. Perform Random Acts of Kindness – Split into teams and see who can perform the most “good deeds” before time runs out – and make strangers happy in the process! A win/win event for all.
Keep in mind that for an indoors in-person event, each location will have its own guidelines for people being admitted to the location, such as proof of vaccination, as well as capacity limits in some parts of the country.
Online events continue to be a primary outlet for many organizations looking to celebrate the holidays in a safe manner. Some of our favorite online activities include:
1. Online cooking classes – take your cookery skills to the next level with this fun and satisfying online event that can easily accommodate large groups.
2. Office Talent show – let your team show off their skills, whether it’s singing, dancing, or magic, everyone has a hidden talent they can share with their team.
3. Virtual cocktail party with a Mixologist – safe and fun, and no need for a designated driver!
4. Virtual scavenger hunt can take your team around the world, searching for clues online, unlocking tangible and virtual prizes.
This year is also a time to think of other, alternative events with which your team can celebrate your workplace culture and promote inclusion across the organization by conducting events such as:
1. Support a local charity by encouraging your team to donate time and/or money to a charity that is near and dear to their heart. Consider offering a ‘matching contribution’ where possible or providing them the time to go and volunteer in-person.
2. Make space for a non-normative holiday experience for your team by not assuming that everyone is of the same faith or that everyone celebrates Christmas, or any other holiday in December. Be ready to accommodate and celebrate differences.
3. One sure way to make everyone happy is to provide additional days off during the holiday period. For example, at Engaged HR, we close for the holidays and give our team the time they need to rest and return re-energized for the new year. Many other organizations offer similar days off.
Your Engaged HR assignment:
Be sure to take the time to have fun, celebrate your workplace culture, and reward your team in the way that is most meaningful to them.
As always, you can reach out to the Engaged HR Team for more ideas and considerations. We are here to help!
Looking to learn more about other HR topics? Check out our Art of HR series!