This year has been a partially difficult one for all employees. We have had employers contact us with issues related to teams not communicating well with virtual workplaces and teams with an “us and them” mentality between on-site and at-home workers.
Tensions are high as views about working through the pandemic are divided. Some feel it is not worth the risk to come back into the workplace with numbers on the rise. While others feel the return to some form of normalcy is healthy provided safety protocols are in place.
Amidst all of this, one thing is for certain. Typical Holiday Season activities to bring people together in the workplace will have to look very different. This includes holiday parties, lunches or potlucks and connecting around the bountiful amount of sweets. Charities such as United Way Christmas Care and the Food Bank will also be taking a hit this year as these organizations typically host workplace events to raise money during the holiday season.
It is important that holiday celebrations continue, just in a different format. Employees need something that acknowledges the holidays and increases their sense of belonging. Here are some fun holiday activities that can be done virtually and raise some money for charity at the same time.
1. Have different work teams put together a holiday video with vignettes from each member of the team. This can also be a fundraising event where teams pay to enter and proceeds go to a local charity. As a fundraiser, work teams can all make a holiday food item as part of a total meal. Take a picture at home along with a recipe card. Recipes are then shared for a donation to the chosen charity.
2. Anything that can help with the stress of everyday necessities is helpful. Purchase meal delivery gift cards or any prepared meal provider and if it’s possible, have a meal delivered directly to employees at their homes all on the same day. A lower budget option is to send treats home with each employee. Another alternative is to send employees a holiday meal kit and have them take a picture of themselves preparing/enjoying the meal and sharing it with other team members.
3. Send a nice holiday floral arrangement to each employee at the start of the holiday season. A twist on this is a fruit arrangement or food basket to each employee. Chocolate covered strawberries are always welcome and well-received.
4. Employees can take a picture of themselves at home or work in their ugly holiday sweater or holiday hat. The best picture gets a donation to their favourite local charity. Teams can also pick a team theme for each person such as ‘The Grinch’ or ‘Santa’s workshop’ etc.
Help spread the cheer at work. During this unprecedented time, it may be easy to simply let the Holidays pass by without meaningful recognition and celebration. Take the time to create something that works for you and your team. Happy Holidays!