If your office celebrated Halloween with costumes, contests, playful activities and food… Congratulations! This is a sign of a fun, healthy and progressive corporate culture. If your team or office didn’t do anything, then it could be a sign that your organization suffers from low morale.
Traditions are important in companies just as they are in families. And, nothing is more important than the annual traditions that workplaces establish to celebrate the seasonal holidays. Holiday celebrations build positive morale and increase employee motivation.
Here are some ideas to increase your team’s morale surrounding the holidays, the changing seasons and other important events worth celebrating.
–Create a volunteer committee to spearhead the effort. A dedicated committee can plan, communicate and execute activities.
–Involve your leaders. Employees love seeing the upper ranks being vulnerable and having fun. They should dress up, serve food, be a judge and just do silly things with everyone else.
–Leverage your activities to add meaning to the fun. These are perfect moments to share company values, missions, visions, goals and announcements. Set tone and culture during these meetings. Reward, recognize and show appreciation. Icebreakers and teambuilding activities are also perfect during these types of activities.
–Plan for celebrations and traditions in calendars and budgets. Balance them with your seasonal and project workload. Four or more traditions a year will make a real impact on your teamwork and culture.
Need a few holidays to celebrate? Start with these traditional and unusual seasonal options:
Halloween: Hold a costume contest for individuals or teams. You can also have a decoration contest. Winners receive gift certificates or lunch brought in and of course bragging rights.
Thanksgiving: Host a pot-luck. Potlucks are a great way to bring people together. Ask for small monetary donations or hold a food drive. Ask your company to match employee donations. You can also support a local charity or family in need.
Winter Holidays: Do a secret Santa program or white elephant gift exchange. Be sure to celebrate holiday diversity in your workplace. Make it about the celebration and not the religion associated with it. Celebrations bring departments together and recognize your hard work. Provide lunch, do a decoration contest and play music. Have an angel tree where children can be adopted for the holiday or have employees bring gifts that can be taken to a local shelter.
New Year’s: Celebrate with sparkling cider and horns. This is a great time to review the successes of the past calendar year, share valuable lessons learned and a perfect way to look forward. Set time aside for employee to set personal and professional goals. Eat foods that bring good luck such as black eyed peas, greens and cornbread.
Valentines Day: Have the boss give a small token of appreciation to each employee. Buy heart shaped sugar cookies and have a decorating station with icing creative toppings. Have participants take pictures, post on a wall and hold a contest. Use a wall to write things employees appreciate and “love” about each other.
Mardi Gras: Distribute beads and hats throughout the office. Bake some King cakes and whoever gets the “baby” in their piece wins a prize.
St. Patrick’s Day: Dress in green. Have leaders serve corned beef sandwiches.
Spring Time: Hold a group picnic in a local park. Do fun teambuilding and contests.
April Fools: Play some fun and innocent pranks on people.
May Day: Bring a flower for each employee. Decorate the office with colorful ribbons.
Summer Solstice: Honor the sun by bringing in a yoga teacher to share some basic yoga moves including sun salutations.
Juneteenth: Invite a speaker in for a lunch and learn about the history of the holiday.
Fourth of July: Assign leaders to man the grill for hot dogs and hamburgers.
Summer Celebrations: Have a beach themed indoor picnic lunch and share summer plans and holidays. Have a wall with pictures from employees’ vacations. Do a water balloon toss in the parking lot.
Back to School: Donate school supplies to a charity that helps children. Hold classes in the workplace to brush up on learning skills. Dress like children for a day.
Fall Celebration: Serve donuts and cider in the morning. Write ideas for new ways of doing things on fall leaves and pin them on a wall or board. Have a chili cook off contest.
Bosses Day: Bring in a massage chair for the bosses to enjoy throughout the day. Take them to lunch. Serve them lunch.
National Dog Day: Allow your employees to safely bring their dogs to work. Invite a dog trainer during lunch to teach tips on becoming well-behaved dogs. Hire a photographer to document the fun.
Indigenous People Day/Columbus Day: Invite a local Native American to speak about their culture and history.
Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos): Have a face painter come to the office to paint traditional make up.
Birthdays: Find ways to meaningfully celebrate everyone’s birthday without it being overwhelming or boring. Have an ice cream sundae bar once a quarter for the birthdays coming up. Have a sign at the front desk for the weekly or monthly birthdays.
Work Anniversaries: These should always be remembered by the immediate supervisor and organization. Ensure that each employee gets a card of appreciation on their work anniversary.
Mothers and Fathers Days: Hold a brunch for the mothers and fathers in the office. Hire and learn with a parenting expert. Have employees bring in a baby picture and guess who they are. Have them write on a notecard what their mother or father means to them.
It’s important to understand that any holiday or seasonal time of the year can be an effective and fun way to incorporate traditions and celebrations into the workplace.
- 2 Nov, 2016
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