17 Oct Not Another Boring Corporate Christmas Party …
It’s never too early to begin planning for the holiday season. Waiting too long can leave you, your employees and clients not feeling the holiday spirit. Restaurants book up early. Calendars fill quickly with personal commitments. Consider these alternatives to the traditional (and often dreaded) office Christmas party to keep the cheer in and around the office.
1. Get Out and Give Back
Getting out of the office and your own head is a great idea any time of the year. But it is especially gratifying during the holiday season when the needs’ of others are so great. Chose a cause and consider partnering with a local group or charity. From seniors to the disabled to veterans to kids in need, there are many worthy causes that could use the attention and ways that people that would benefit from your time. Here are a couple of ideas.
- Host an event – Share the joy with a group you might not otherwise interact with on a daily basis.
- Play Santa – Give employees a budget and money for a shopping day buying gifts for local charities. Distributing them as a team can help bring everyone together.
- Be Elves – Have employees volunteer working at a charity or other cause can lighten the mood for any team.
BONUS PRIZE INCLUDED! All three ideas are excellent team building exercises.
2. Flex Your Creative Giving Brain
Everyone is creative—and you can’t fake a personal touch. Get the whole team involved thanking your client for their business. Brainstorm thoughtful gifts that show you remember them. Get the visually and crafty individuals involved working on cards, notes or other communications. And it doesn’t have to be limited to your clients and associates. There are a number of groups that would look forward to a surprise package, Operation Shoe Box is just one. Consider having food brought in and you can make it a working lunch that feels like play!
3. Get Dressed for the Season
The seasonal change is an inherent trigger. People are naturally ready to gear up for the cooler weather and holidays. Build on that emotion by decorating the office or providing opportunities and incentives for teammates to dress up their personal spaces at the office. Have a contest for most creative idea or theme. But do it early so that everyone has time to enjoy it and set the mood for the entire season, not just a few days before the holiday. Follow it up with an after-work party or lunch to recognize their efforts and what they’ve met to the business the entire year.
4. Pack up the Family
While the corporate summer picnic might be the classic combination of family/business activity, that doesn’t mean it can’t work during the holidays. In fact, by not making employees choose between the office and family you could increase attendance and engagement. Plus, having both parties get to know each other helps promote understanding and unity going forward. Consider attending a family-friendly activity like a touring musical or play. Skiing in northern climates might be a viable option. On a slightly lower budget? Consider bowling or ice skating with plenty of hot chocolate and kid-friendly gifts to go around. Or maybe attend one of the families sporting events together as a group for the ultimate cheering section. Cheaper still, you could bring back the lost tradition of caroling, either to businesses, clients, prospects or just around a favorite family neighborhood.
Above all, remember to say thank you to your employees! It’s easy to get caught up of the rush of holidays and the crush of the new year. Don’t forget those that make everything possible.