Getting tired of the same old office holiday party year after year? If you feel that way, chances are, your employees probably feel the same. Perhaps it’s time to inject some spark into your holiday cheer with some fresh celebration ideas. After all, holiday festivities are a way to show your employees your appreciation – but they only work if employees genuinely enjoy and see value in them!
With that in mind, here are five ideas to make the most of the holiday season at your small business.
Benecaid advocates for charitable giving year round, but if you want to designate a time for your employees or the company as a whole to participate in charitable giving, why not do so during the giving season? One possible way to do this is to donate a sum on behalf of the entire company – quick and easy. If you’re looking to involve your employees in your charitable giving activities, look into local donation drives that may be happening around you. The following type of local charities are typically happy to accept donations (please confirm with your charity of choice the items that they are currently accepting):
- Homeless shelters (including women’s and youth shelters): warm clothing, toiletries, non-perishable food items
- Employment programs: professional clothing
- Children’s toy drives: new children’s toys, as well as gifts for babies and teens
- Animal shelters: pet food, toys, and old sheets, bedding, towels and rags.
- Book banks/literacy programs: new and gently used books, including children’s books
Stir up some friendly competition! Try creating teams among your employees to see which team can donate the most.
Alternatively, organizing corporate team volunteering days around the holidays can be a great way to foster team spirit and promote workplace culture, all while giving back to your local community.
This holiday season, Benecaid made a donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada. We also hosted an internal donation contest for different employee teams to donate food items, bedding, and toiletries to the Peel Family Shelter. At our downtown Honeybee office, employees held a donation drive to donate warm clothing and toiletries to local homeless respite centres.
2. Office potluck
Depending on where you typically host your office parties, you could be paying a pretty penny for them – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your employees enjoy or even appreciate them. Those with families, for example, or those with different tastes than that offered at the venue booked may be eager to leave your after-work party sooner than you’d hope, or may even prefer to forego it altogether.
The last thing you want when planning your festivities is for your employees to be bored or underwhelmed, especially when you’re investing company funds. Instead, why not have a fun, affordable office potluck lunch? This option has the added benefit of allowing employees to have a say in the planning and execution, and allowing them to be more involved. Plus, if it falls during working hours employees won’t have to leave early due to conflicting commitments.
3. White Elephant gift exchange
Most people have heard of Secret Santa; White Elephant is also a gift-giving exchange, but with a few twists that make it a great office holiday activity. From Bustle:
The basic run down is that everyone comes prepared with a wrapped gift and puts into it the designated gift pile. Everybody gets a number. That’s the order in which you’ll pick your gifts. When the first person picks, the person who comes after can either steal that gift or pick from the pile. This sentiment continues until all the gifts have been picked. While it sounds straightforward and simple, present theft is oddly hilarious.
Secret Santa can have its drawbacks: it’s not a particularly interactive group activity, for starters, not to mention that it only takes one employee who calls in sick or has forgotten to bring in a gift to throw things off. A White Elephant gift exchange can be the perfect game for some holiday fun amongst your employees (or even just those employees who sign up to participate).
A holiday competition can be an incredibly fun way for employees to become involved and foster some friendly rivalry within the office. A contest with employees comprised of different teams and departments can even be a bonding exercise, if different teams don’t often have much reason to interact with one another otherwise. Some friendly contest ideas include:
- Ugly outfit contests (if you’re looking for a fun way to get managers, partners, or department heads involved, ask if they can model their team’s fabulous creations!)
- Tree decoration contests
- Festive office space contest
- Holiday jeopardy
5. Board game cafe
If you have a board game cafe near you, this can be a great idea for a casual fun holiday outing. It guarantees an interactive, immersive social outing without any of the forced, awkward small talk that can sometimes come along with them. Many board game cafes are able to hold reservations for large groups. If you’ve ever gone to a board game cafe, you may already know how they work: with a selection of hundreds of board games lining the walls, staff on hand to teach you the rules, and tasty drinks and snacks, spending an afternoon or evening at a board game cafe is a fun way for teams to bond.
Corporate holiday festivities shouldn’t be a chore to attend or plan, but they sometimes are, nonetheless. In reality, you may be constrained by lack of a planning committee, or a limited budget, or just a lack of ideas. But don’t let those factors hamper your holiday cheer! Make this year one for the books – take a few of these ideas and your employees will be reveling in holiday spirit in no time.