The holidays are here! This year they must be celebrated a bit differently in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With cases rapidly on the rise, many organizations have helped promote stay-at-home orders by conducting their businesses remotely. Subsequently, these practices are affecting yearly traditions such as holiday office parties, due to the reality that most employees are now working from home. Not to mention, this also means that some will have to celebrate the holidays alone for their own safety.
For this reason, it is important that offices innovate ways to stay connected with their employees, especially during the holidays, in order to lift people’s spirits and keep them motivated to produce their best work in the future. Here are three ways organizations can engage their employees during the holiday season.
1. Host A Virtual Holiday Party
Office parties do not have to go completely extinct. Virtual communication platforms like Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams make it easier for organizations to meet with their staff face to face from the comfort of their homes.
Take advantage of these opportunities by hosting virtual holiday parties. This is a perfect strategy to keep employees engaged at work while giving them something positive to look forward to during a time of uncertainty. To take it up a notch, create a theme for the event. An ugly Christmas sweater dress code is a classic example. Offices can even hold a virtual contest to judge who is wearing the best sweater. Furthermore, including games like holiday trivia and virtual Pictionary can encourage more participation from employees.
2. Host a Secret Santa Event
Another great way to ensure team engagement during the holidays is hosting a remote gift exchange. Management can design a method where employees select another person within the company to give a gift at random. This is commonly known as Secret Santa. Usually, the recipients create a wish list so that those who select unfamiliar coworkers have an idea of what they like. Moreover, the host determines how much everyone should spend on their gifts. This is to prevent one person from receiving a more expensive gift than someone else. Also, it is best to try to keep the price cap at a minimum to entice more people to participate in the activity. For example, most Secret Santa gifts range between $20-$100, depending on the company’s regulations. Due to Covid-19, it is important to plan virtual Secret Santa events in advance to ensure there is enough time for the gifts to be mailed and received before the actual holiday arrives. Team engagement can also be exercised through revealing their Secret Santa gifts during the virtual holiday party.
3. Stream a Holiday Movie
Companies can also stream movies to keep employees involved during the holiday season. Senior management can plan these events during periods of work that are usually light, such as the end of the week or the day before a national holiday. The host can have the employees vote on a movie to watch to ensure that more people are willing to participate in the movie night. This is a creative way for employees to bond outside of work-related issues and take a break from the stressful year. Also, this option is perfect for working parents who watch their children during the day because they can enjoy the movie too!
Briana Richardson-Jones serves as a Justice Department (DOJ) program analyst. Before becoming a federal employee, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s of Science in criminology with a public policy concentration. She believes she can help prospective and new employees navigate government efficiently while currently doing the same. Briana has discovered creative tips that can help others “work smarter” in the future. She also plans on combining her love for writing and criminal justice to educate readers about current events and community issues affecting people worldwide.