The holiday season is by and far the best time of the year for many, and there's no better time than now to plan ways to spread the cheer with your employees. It's common for your teams to feel burnt out after a year of chasing deadlines and targets. Some of them may be trying hard to beat the holiday blues if they can't get together with their families for personal or logistical reasons, or they may be fighting against demotivation at work as the holidays loom. Others may be hoping for a chance to get to know their peers better and spend some time with them after working remotely.
Celebrating the holiday season with your employees can truly make a difference in how they approach their work-life, interact with their peers, and gear up for the upcoming year. If you are looking for inspiration to organize your next office party, here are five easy, low-budget, and effective tips for celebrating the holiday season with your employees:
Make the celebrations inclusive
While gearing up for the year-end festivities, it's important to make sure every employee feels included and doesn't feel uncomfortable with the way you intend to celebrate the holiday season. How you organize the celebrations can speak volumes about what your company stands for and the values it upholds. One way to make the celebrations more inclusive is to ask your employees directly how they wish to celebrate the holiday season.
From November to December, there are several festivals, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the New Year. Send a short survey before kickstarting the celebrations to learn their preferences. If this doesn't work and you don't have any other choice left, keep the celebrations simple. Select a neutral day, share gifts, and treat your employees to great food. Lastly, don't force employees to participate in the holiday celebrations. Nothing kills the spirit of the holidays like a party being mandatory.
Spread the celebration across multiple days
Instead of restricting the celebrations to just a single day, it's good to spread the celebrations over a week or two before you close for the holidays. It'll be enough if your employees can spare an hour or two during the end of their workday for these activities, and this will also give more employees the chance to join if a particular day doesn't work for them.
Plan the activities based on the number of days you intend to celebrate with your employees. If you are working from your office, you can probably help your employees get together and decorate the office. You can host fun games, quizzes, and contests on one day. The next day, you can treat them with a holiday meal. Wrap the activities up with a larger celebration, like a corporate dinner party or dance. If possible, you can also surprise them by giving them additional time off.
Express your gratitude
There's no better time than the year-end holiday season to express gratitude for everything your employees have achieved over the year. The feeling of gratitude coming from top and middle-level management can truly mean the world to your employees and pump them up with all the motivation they'll require to wade through the challenges and opportunities that the upcoming year holds.
Encourage team managers to organize a meeting with their teams, discuss everything they've accomplished over the year and how those achievements contributed to the organization's goals, and congratulate every employee personally. A personal message from the CEO thanking employees can also improve spirits. Alternatively, you can also offer rewards points to your employees throughout the year and allow them to exchange those points for gifts during the holidays.
Help employees beat holiday stress
It's important to acknowledge the fact that holiday stress is a real phenomenon. While still struggling to stay on top of deadlines, some employees may be running additional errands to make the holiday season awesome for their families. Others who are away from their families may experience holiday blues due to anxiety and loneliness. This season more than ever, put employee well-being first. If possible, adopt flexible schedules until the New Year at least, where employees are allowed to leave as soon as they complete their work. You can also introduce something like Wellness Wednesdays, where employees take time to indulge in wellness practices like yoga, meditation, etc. Encourage employees to help each other without any judgement, and be as accommodating as possible with time off requests.
Enable employees to support their communities
There's no greater joy than being able to give back to the community and make others happy during the holiday season. You can take steps to make it easy for your employees to help brighten somebody's life during the holiday season. For instance, you could partner with a local orphanage, get a wishlist from the kids there, and publish it on your company's intranet so that interested employees can contribute together to sponsor the gifts. Otherwise, ask employees how they would wish to contribute to the community by giving them a list of all the feasible options. This would make them even more satisfied.
Your employees would love to celebrate the holiday season with their peers after a strenuous year of chasing targets, goals, and deadlines. Help them spend quality time at your office with their teammates by organizing fun and engaging activities. We hope this blog gave you insight on how to best celebrate this holiday season with your employees. Happy Holidays from all of us at Zoho People!
Also Read: 10 activities to boost employee motivation during the holidays