Ghouls and goblins, fireworks and face paint, cauldrons and candy corn…Halloween is on the horizon! And this year, who says all the fun has to happen after hours? Bringing some of that kitschy holiday fun to the workplace is a great way to build strong teams, enhance creativity, and boost morale. Nurturing a positive environment at work makes good business sense, so go ahead—have a little Halloween shindig with your team!
Need a little inspiration? Here are a few of our favourite ways to celebrate the kid in all of us and bring Halloween to the office:
1. Host a Halloween breakfast. Bring in pumpkin pie and apple cider for an employee breakfast—it’s a foolproof engagement strategy that works just as well for any other fall or winter holiday. Provide yogurt and fruit to round out the meal, and save the leftovers for healthy office snacks throughout the week. We all know that a well-fed employee is a happy employee!
2. Hold a costume contest. Encourage employees to dress up for work by organizing a Halloween fashion show with a range of prizes for different costumes. Send out a reminder email the day before, and bring in a box of costumes or accessories to encourage more people to participate.
3. Volunteer together. We talked about this in our Thanksgiving post, but Halloween is also a great opportunity to team-build while giving back. Visit an elder-care facility with treats, give your time as a team at a community event, or host a food drive for the local food bank.
4. Have a pumpkin-carving party. Cover the floor in garbage bags and end the day with a pumpkin carving session. Plan to start near the end of the work day, so that those with kids can invite them to join in on the fun after school, and employees don’t have to walk around with pumpkin guts on their shirts all day.
5. Decorate your desks. Most of us don’t often get to express our artistic side at work, so holidays are a great time to allow employees to express their creativity. Pick up some dollar store essentials (think fake cobwebs, plastic spiders, and themed cut-outs) and let employees decorate their workspaces. To up the ante, have everyone vote on their favourites for prizes.
6. Play holiday-themed games. Willing to invest a little more time and effort? Nothing spells team-building like some healthy competition. Schedule time in everyone’s calendars for some fresh Halloween-themed games that go beyond apple bobbing. Mini gourd tic-tac-toe, spider races, and mummy wraps are some easy DIY favourites.
7. Trick or treat. Trick or treating doesn’t just have to be for the kids. Have each person bring in their favourite treat, provide trick or treat bags, and go from desk to desk collecting loot from coworkers.
8. Let them leave early. Give employees the option to take off early from work to prep for trick or treating so that rushed parents can slow down and enjoy the festivities with their kids. Stressed-out parents trying to put face paint on sugared-up children will thank you for the extra prep time!
Disclaimer: While it’s great to bond with your team, participation is an individual choice! Always make sure employees are aware they can opt out of any activity they’re not overly enthusiastic about.
Your Engaged HR Assignment: If Halloween falls on a workday in your office, then it’s time to get organized. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time or energy, and even costume-free offices can get on board with a little fun. Pick one or two activities from the above list and use Halloween as an excuse to celebrate with your team!