After all the stress and challenges of 2021, holiday festivities should be a priority this year. Your team deserves appreciation for all their hard work and dedication. What better way to boost their morale and strengthen your bond with them than a holiday event?
This year, make your holiday event extra special by putting in extra effort to be more personal and meaningful. Here are some of my tips:
Make holiday celebrations more inclusive.
When we think of the “holiday season,” Christmas immediately comes to mind (even if you’re not Christian). There are certainly other holidays to celebrate that we should make ourselves aware of. Even if a small number of your people feel excluded from a holiday event, it can have a negative impact on employee engagement and productivity. More importantly, it can make people feel unseen, which causes more hurt than you may think.
What you do to make this time of the year more inclusive can set the tone for your company’s culture and employee engagement throughout the following year.
This is why you should make yourself and your people more aware of which religious holidays are celebrated by members of your team. You should also know if they prefer to celebrate it and, if so, how they go about it. Before scheduling your company’s holiday events, it’s a good idea to check an interfaith calendar to avoid conflict with holidays when your employees could be absent.
Provide various (and actually good) food options.
Serve food that meets your employees’ halal, kosher, vegetarian and vegan dietary needs. And take note of specific allergies, of course!
Being conscious of what food you serve at your holiday events can drastically change the environment. If you serve food that would be at a traditional American Christmas dinner, some people could interpret that as your holiday event being a Christmas party instead of a general holiday event.
A great way to humanize your event through food is by making it a potluck, where your people can bring in a dish that they make at home so you can all share in each other’s culture.
Give your virtual holiday event something extra.
Whether it’s a shared experience, activity or food, make sure that if your event is virtual that you ensure you put in extra effort to make the event as fun as possible.
One way to do this is by delivering your holiday party in a box. As the term suggests, event attendees receive curated gift boxes in the mail filled with goodies or experience enhancers that will be used during a live virtual event. This makes the event more enjoyable and exciting. There’s the feeling of having a shared experience with coworkers and, at the same time, your people will have a box of goodies they can enjoy for themselves. Sending physical items can boost engagement and make the virtual event more personal for all attendees.
Another way to make your event exciting is through an activity like trivia, live music or something your team votes on doing together. Even if you’re not in the same room, you will feel closer to each other when you’re enjoying the same activity.
What do you do now?
The holidays are a time to celebrate. Your people. Your company. Your accomplishments. Anything you want! Being mindful about how you celebrate is the key to making sure your events are humanized. By acknowledging your people and the way they choose to celebrate (or not), they will feel seen and like their contributions at work take on a deeper meaning.
This year’s holiday events may not be the same as preCOVID but the possibilities you have to make it more meaningful and memorable for your people are endless. Humanizing your event means creating authentic, genuine and inclusive experiences: the best kind.
In love and respect,