We recognise that this is such a difficult time but with Christmas is less than 6 weeks away it is a good idea to inject some positivity for your teams as the traditional work Christmas just will not be possible. advo hr takes a look at some of the ideas that employers can do to replace the traditional Christmas work party so employees do not miss out on what may be viewed as one of the work social highlights of the year.
It’s about this time each year when we would usually write an article covering Work Christmas parties, to remind employees about policies in place and how to deal with any conduct issues that may occur during the event. This year, however, it is looking very likely that the traditional work Christmas party will have to be called off. Depending on the financial side too, it may enable celebrations without having to spend the usual budget. With local restrictions in place and cases on the rise, we wanted to collate some ideas that will allow the same festive spirit, just in a safer setting. Here are some of the ideas we have come across:
Virtual Christmas Party
With many employers now using technology in the work place to communicate, why not use it to socialise too? Virtual Christmas parties can take place on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype etc which gives the Company the chance to address everyone at one time, to thank everyone for their hard work and to communicate performance for the year and future plans. The event can include playing games, competitions and splitting off into smaller groups or departments to socialise afterwards. You could even run competitions for the best (or worst!) Christmas jumper or outfit.
Online Secret Santa
If employees are happy to participate, it may be an idea to create an online secret Santa, where a spend limit is applied and employees can post their present to their colleague (if, of course, they are happy to share their address) or to the Office which can then be posted on to the employee if they do not wish to share their address with colleagues. Alternatively, depending on the rules in place at that time, it may be possible to meet following Government guidelines to swap gifts in the usual way.
If having a virtual Christmas party seems too much of a logistical nightmare, then arranging for smaller teams to gather, whether that be by department or a mixture from all over the Company, there are some ideas that could take a couple of hours. Some ideas can be found below:
- Virtual cocktail/mocktail making classes or tasting sessions for gin, wine etc, where the equipment and products are sent to the employee’s house prior to the event;
- Online escape rooms;
- Karaoke sessions for those who are willing to participate!
- Decorating ginger bread houses, where everything is sent to the employee at home and everyone can talk whilst decorating their house. There could even be a competition and prize for the best end result.
There are numerous companies online offering to host events if this is something you would like to look into. Alternatively, with a bit of planning this can be arranged by yourselves.
Sending Hampers/Gift Vouchers
For those employers who tend not to throw a party or believe it will be too difficult to celebrate in the above ways, it may be an idea to send a hamper or gift voucher to employees to recognise the hard work and dedication they have shown this year. Keep in mind that line managers may know their employees best in terms of what to send to them. For instance, they may know an employee is a vegan and if you are not aware you could send a hamper that is not suited to their diet or lifestyle.
It is important, wherever possible, that if you usually would mark this time of year that something should be arranged to replace the usual festivities. A Christmas party has many positive effects on employees: it boosts morale, engages employees, shows employees how appreciated they are and enables team bonds to strengthen. After the turbulent events of this year, something fun and festive may just be the light-hearted break that is required to motivate everyone into the new year.
If you need some additional support in supporting your staff then advo hr are here to help. Why not email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.