With Thanksgiving behind us, the holiday countdown is officially underway.
At this time of year, cheer and warmth fill the air and anticipation sets in as we anxiously await spending time with friends and family. Many workplaces get into the spirit of the season by holding annual events to celebrate the holidays, such as office parties, gift exchanges, and even volunteering.
Brighten the spirits of your employees and end the year on a high note by hosting, planning, and participating in your own holiday office activity. Here are some ways to bring the festive spirit into your workplace.
The office party is probably one of the most common ways to celebrate the season and have fun before everyone leaves for Christmas break. Planning a get-together at the workplace or outside of the office can be a great boost to morale because it gives employees something to look forward to throughout the year.
Who doesn’t love food, music, and laughter to lighten the mood in your place of business? Host a party in the office or take your employees out to an event, such as dinner, theater, or bowling, where employees can visit and meet each other’s significant others.
Organizing a special occasion creates excitement, conversation, and anticipation among workers. Plan early, get feedback from your employees about the type of event they want, and schedule it for a day that the most people are likely to attend. If you have a retail business, or you simply cannot manage a party in addition to the busyness of the season, set a date for the New Year. That way, employees will definitely want to come back after their break.
If a dinner or office party doesn’t interest you, a catered luncheon or potluck is an easy, no-fuss alternative. Plus, it’s during work time, so it’s likely you will have greater participation from your workers. Plan a lunch event, where you set up a seating area for employees to gather and enjoy a meal together. Have it catered in, or reserve a table for your staff at a nearby restaurant. A luncheon is casual, and also gives you an optimal moment to address everyone at once with your well wishes and gratitude for a good year.
Volunteering for a non-profit organization is a great way to get employees together and spend time giving back to the community. It’s another feel-good activity that gives employees the opportunity to work together for a good cause and have fun while doing it. Donating time as a business can also benefit your company as a whole because you are creating a positive partnership and an excellent PR opportunity.
There are many volunteering activities your business can take part in, including helping with fundraising events, working in a soup kitchen, collecting items for a food drive or clothes drive, or even making a donation to a non-profit for an auction, or simply to fund their mission.
To keep with the spirit of giving, workplaces organize gift exchanges between employees, such as a Secret Santa or a White Elephant Gift Exchange. For a small price, it gets everyone in the office involved and mingling over the element of surprise. This activity is easy, inclusive, and gives everyone a chance to give and receive gifts from people they may not know very well. In other words, it can make unlikely connections a possibility.
Contests encourage participation if there is an incentive involved, such as a prize or trophy. Put on a contest during the holidays to spark some friendly competition among co-workers and even encourage creativity and team building.
Contest ideas include raffles or draws for prizes, door decorating contests, ugly sweater contests, charades or trivia tournaments. The options are endless and are sure to be a hit.
What would the holidays be without the décor? Lights, garland, wreaths, candy canes, and more are easy ways to take the office from winter drab to decked out with cheer. Adding this little touch to the workplace will put employees in the spirit and also warm up the office environment for clients and customers.
Although the holidays are celebrated by many, there are some people who do not celebrate at all. Be respectful of all your employees’ beliefs and decorate accordingly.
While Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are both National Holidays, many companies offer additional time off, such as shortened hours on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. If you are able, offer your employees a half day on these days. It puts people in a nice mood and shows you care about their happiness and work-to-life balance.
Employee Recognition Gifts
Some companies give their employees a bonus at the end of the year. For those small businesses who do not offer holiday bonuses, consider other ways of acknowledging your employee’s contributions throughout the year.
The smallest gifts can mean the world to a worker if the thought is there. Greeting cards, chocolate, gift cards, or other small tokens show that you care. You may even wish to send a warm compliment to each of your employees or hold a casual awards event where you commend employees on their dedication and accomplishments. No matter how small or big, an employee appreciates recognition from his or her employer and it will do wonders for morale and employee satisfaction.
‘Tis The Season For a Merry Workplace
It’s the season for giving. Your employees are valuable to your operations and keep your business going forward. The holidays are the time to give something back to them. Whether you plan a party, volunteer to help work a fundraiser for a local organization, decorate the water cooler, or give them a card, the main thing is that you show your appreciation and gratitude for their hard work throughout the year. Your recognition will mean a great deal, and what better time to make an effort than a season already filled with joy, warmth, and cheer?
What does your business do for the holidays?