Holiday Cheer at Work

Festive Ideas to Energize Your Workplace

Holiday Season

Bring the Celebration to Work

The holiday season offers a unique opportunity to infuse joy and excitement into the workplace! Creating a festive atmosphere not only enhances employee morale, but also strengthens team bonding and engagement. 

Decorative trimmings and seasonal tunes are a couple common ways to set up a festive atmosphere. Doing so can leave a significantly positive impact on employees – but did you know it can uplift your customer experience too?

For employees, this season is a chance to boost morale, create a sense of community, and enhance engagement. When the workplace exudes warmth and celebration, it can contribute to a positive company culture, which brings your team closer through sharing happy moments together. Notably, this environment can greatly benefit customer service representatives by elevating their mood, reducing stress, and improving their interactions with customers. Customers, in turn, appreciate the positive atmosphere and tend to have better experiences when they feel the holiday spirit during their interactions. (Yes, this can even translate through the phone.)

Decorate the Workplace

Setting the Scene

The simplest way to usher in the holiday spirit is through decorations. This also offers instant gratification, as the transformation with festive décor uplifts the ambiance and spreads cheer the moment you get all the bells and whistles into place. Embracing seasonal decorations like sparkling lights, garlands, wreaths, and themed ornaments not only cultivates a joyful environment but also cultivates a sense of inclusivity and shared celebration – among employees and visitors alike!

Encouraging employees to participate in decorating the workspace will provide them with a sense of ownership and teamwork. Consider organizing a decoration day where staff can come together to put up decorations, share ideas, and contribute to the overall festive theme. This is a fun collaboration to unite the team.

You don’t have to limit the decorations to common areas; encourage individual workspaces to embrace the spirit too! Allowing personal touches not only adds to the festive feeling, but also allows your staff feel more at home, thereby increasing their sense of comfort and enjoyment at work. 

You can even take it one step further: introduce the idea of a decorating competition, with the winner walking away with a prize! Some friendly rivalry is a great tool to build team spirit and inspire creativity. Encourage teams or individual employees to showcase their creativity by decorating their workspaces or designated areas within the office. Allow them the freedom to exhibit their unique interpretation of the holiday theme. The competition can be an exciting way to enhance camaraderie. 

I recently went on a business trip and found myself at a hotel in St. Louis just before Halloween. By the front desk, there was a display table set up with seven different jack-o-lanterns created by the seven departments at the hotel. Guests had the opportunity to vote for their favorite – it was appreciated and enjoyed by all. 

Holiday Themed Activities

Boosting Workplace Cheer

The act of giving and receiving is one of the greatest pleasures of the holiday season. Traditionally, friends and family celebrate around the world by sharing food and drink. Who doesn’t love some tasty treats during break time at work, or the opportunity to get to know their colleagues better by shopping for a gift for them? Why not bring some of these elements into your workplace for some holiday themed activities to really ignite the festive spirit?

Holiday Potluck: Diversity and Togetherness

Organizing a holiday-themed potluck lunch can be an enjoyable way to celebrate diversity and spend time together as a team. Your staff members can bring dishes that reflect their cultural backgrounds and traditional holiday favorites. It’s a fact: sharing food brings people together. As an additional bonus, this activity also provides a platform to appreciate and learn about various cultures within the workplace.

Secret Santa or Gift Exchange: The Spirit of Giving

Hosting a Secret Santa or a gift exchange event can add yet another layer of joy (and a sense of anticipation) to the holiday season. Set a reasonable budget and have employees draw names randomly to exchange gifts. This activity makes space for thoughtful gestures among team members. It’s a great way for staff to show appreciation and get to one another. At your next team meeting, everyone can exchange gifts and open them together.

Themed Dress Days: Festive Attire

You’re decorating the office…so why not decorate yourself too? Invite the idea of having ‘festive Fridays’ or ‘holiday sweater days,’ to add a touch of playfulness to the work environment. Staff may dress up according to the weekly theme, whether it’s wearing holiday-themed attire or sporting a cheerful (or “ugly”) sweater. This simple activity can elevate the cheerful atmosphere.

Team-Building Games: Bonding with Fun

You can organize holiday-themed games or quizzes, creating an enjoyable space that fosters teamwork and camaraderie. These activities add a fun and lighthearted touch to the work environment. Or, if able, a holiday game night can be organized outside the workplace as well, to extend the team spirit into a new environment. 

As a closing thought to your holiday activities, it’s a good practice to introduce ideas with the team to ensure everyone is comfortable and able to participate. Prioritizing what is best for your team to showcase their holiday cheer (without being overly distracting from the work itself) helps achieve a healthy balance, without adding more “holiday stress” to anyone’s plate.

Charity Initiatives

Giving Back to the Community

When we talk about the “holiday spirit” or the “season of gratitude,” we know there are deeper layers to the meaning. This time of year presents a wonderful opportunity for giving back, spreading cheer, and contributing to the community in meaningful ways.

Embracing Volunteering: Gather your team members and encourage them to take part in community service initiatives or support local shelters and charitable organizations. Volunteering together not only strengthens team bonds but also instills a sense of shared purpose that extends beyond the office. 

Charitable Donations: For employees who are able, making a team and/or company donation to a good cause is yet another display of compassion by bringing the team together to share in something meaningful. There are several charities that strive to make the holiday season brighter for those in need – you can research which reputable organizations are a good fit for which you and your team can contribute.

Attitude of Gratitude

Recognition, Awards, and Holiday Bonuses

The holiday season offers an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of employees throughout the year. Recognizing outstanding achievements through initiatives like ‘Employee of the Month’ or ‘Year-End Awards’ not only celebrates individual or team accomplishments but also serves as a morale booster. 

Such recognition can be tailored to highlight exceptional performance, leadership, creativity, or any other valuable traits demonstrated during the year. Alongside these accolades, consider providing holiday bonuses or financial awards to express gratitude for their unwavering commitment and contributions to the company’s success. This gesture can significantly impact employee satisfaction, reinforcing a sense of belonging and appreciation within the workforce.

Concluding the Festivities

Happy Holidays!

Creating a festive work environment during the holiday season transcends mere decorations and celebrations. It’s an opportunity to reinforce a positive company culture by fostering camaraderie, teamwork, and appreciation among employees. Recognizing and appreciating their efforts not only boosts morale, but also serves as a catalyst for increased productivity and job satisfaction.

While this season typically boasts Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years as it’s biggest holidays, it’s crucial to acknowledge the diversity and inclusivity within your workplace. Embracing holidays from various cultures and traditions, such as Hanukkah or Diwali, not only adds richness and depth to the festive atmosphere, but also allows for an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected. It’s about embracing the diversity that exists within your team and recognizing and celebrating the different traditions, customs, and holidays that each individual holds dear.

By infusing the workplace with the spirit of the holidays and acknowledging the importance of diversity and inclusivity, companies can create an atmosphere of warmth, unity, and appreciation, making the holiday season a truly special and memorable time.

We wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season!