Company culture comes alive with warmth, cheer, and goodwill during December as everyone is surrounded by the joy, excitement, and generosity of Christmas and New Year’s. As such, this time of the year presents a grand opportunity for HR leaders to focus on boosting employee morale and fostering team-building through holiday activities at the office.
In addition to hosting your annual holiday party, it’s important to promote holiday-themed workplace culture initiatives to continuously show your appreciation for your employees all month long.
Here are some ideas for fun activities to do at the office with your people to spread the holiday spirit, recognize and reward them for their hard work, and celebrate an incredible year of milestones and accomplishments together.
Decorate the office with holiday decor
Sprucing up and beautifying your office space with colour, lights, and sparkle can immediately lift up your people’s spirits during the holiday rush. Block off some time at the end of a work day and invite your employees to take a break from their work by helping to turn your office into a winter wonderland. Some creative ideas include making paper snowflakes to hang from the ceiling, stringing up garland around the windows, and trimming a Christmas tree to place at your reception area.
Arrange a Christmas dress-up party
To generate some everlasting memories (and laughs) with your team, set a date when your employees can come into the office in their most festive holiday outfits. Your fun-loving team members can show off their ridiculous ugly Christmas sweaters while your stylish staffers can dress-up in shimmering silver and glittering gold. If your office is pet-friendly, invite your employees to bring their dogs (decked out in their finest Christmas costumes) to the office for even more fun and delightful photo ops.
Host a holiday potluck
Arrange a team lunch in which people are welcome to bring in seasonal dishes and desserts for a festive communal feast. Your employees can choose to make, bake, or buy traditional holiday treats, such as gingerbread cookies, peppermint bark, and eggnog, to ensure a variety of foods are shared amongst colleagues. As an added bonus, you can host an all-day hot chocolate bar by stocking your kitchen with cocoa, marshmallows, candy canes, and other sweets to pair with hot chocolate.
Coordinate a gift exchange
It’s considered customary for most companies to get their teams to participate in an office gift exchange. For smaller teams, Secret Santa is a nice way for co-workers to show they care about their fellow colleagues by going on a mission to find a personalized gift. For bigger teams, the White Elephant gift exchange game (in which participants buy a universal gift within an established price limit that can be enjoyed by all) is ideal for getting the whole team involved in an accessible and inclusive way. With the quirky items and tricky steals associated with White Elephant, the game is guaranteed to generate lots of laughs and unforgettable moments.
Give back and volunteer together
The holidays are the time for your team to contribute back to your community by giving back and volunteering. Together, you can give the invaluable gift of your collective time, skills, and heart to help those in need while bonding as a team. Some charitable activities you and your people can get involved in during the holiday season include:
- Collecting donations for local food banks and clothing drives.
- Sponsoring a family in need by contributing to a Christmas hamper and ensuring they have the necessities for the holidays.
- Making and writing Christmas cards for residents at the Seniors Centre to remind them that they aren’t forgotten.
Organize a vision board session
In preparation for the new year, introduce the notion of visualizing career-oriented goals and aspirations through the creation of vision boards. Vision boarding is a great method of collecting inspirational images and ideas and compiling them into collage format as a way of picturing the road ahead. Your employees can work together with their departments to come up with a list of short-term and long-term goals they want to achieve in 2018, to visualize those through putting together a vision board, and to display the final product where everyone can see it for year-round motivation.