With the holiday season in full swing, many employers find themselves facing the question of how to celebrate with their employees. Aside from the ever-debated “bonus v. party” (hint: go with the bonus), the biggest dilemma a supervisor faces is what exactly to do that will include everyone, boost morale, and give tidings of goodwill and seasonal cheer. While it’s impossible to predict every element that will arise during office celebrations, here are some things to keep in mind:
1) Celebrate during business hours. Not only will your employees love a break during the day, but this ensures that all of your staff can participate and doesn’t alienate those with outside commitments or child care issues.
2) Potlucks are fun and affordable. Just make sure it’s “anything goes”; this will allow your foodies to show off and your not-so-culinary employees to grab a bag of Doritos on the way in.
3) Doing a Secret Santa can be great, but make sure to tailor the rules to your employees (i.e., an accessible $$ amount, clear “how to” guidelines). If you have a large office, doing Secret Santa within individual departments can be a great solution. I also recommend using a free online resource, such as www.drawnames.com, to facilitate your drawing; it eliminates a lot of time and effort while ensuring that no one draws their own name!
4) White Elephant is an even easier way to do a gift exchange with little-to-no cost to you or your employees. Incorporate it into your office party so that everyone goes home with something new-to-them, after the fun of a mildly competitive game.
5) Have several mini-events throughout the holiday season. If you don’t have time (or money) for a big bash, you can give the illusion of a large holiday celebration through several small things. Some examples: candy bags on everyone’s chairs when they arrive, staggering a schedule to give everyone a “holiday Friday” where they get off work a couple hours early, a month-long BINGO game with holiday-themed pieces, or a surprise pizza lunch.
6) Have an after-holiday party. While most people are inclined to cram festivities into the generally-observed holiday season, your employees are likely busy with family, friends, and a multitude of obligations outside of the office. By waiting until after January 1st, you ease their calendars, give them something to look forward to in the post-holiday slump, and (bonus) will be able to find great deals on holiday decorations, candy, and other treats!
Whatever you choose to do in your office during this time of year, all of us at Creative Healthcare Solutions hope that you and yours are safe, happy, and having lots of fun!