This has been a year like no other. And if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of the people in our communities. Our coworkers were a huge part of our lives, and for many of us, the office elicited as much joy as it did hard work. During these challenging times, our colleagues have gone above and beyond their roles to show socially-distanced support and encouragement as we all navigated this together.
As employers, the holiday season is the perfect time to celebrate your office community and make it clear to your staff that the business wouldn’t be the same without them. Check out a few ways to show (remote) appreciation for your employees!
Virtual Holiday Party
The traditional potluck is off the table this year, but you can still virtually gather your team for a holiday party. Prepare a seasonal playlist and encourage your team to dress up, even if that entails a favorite pair of festive jammies for some. A recipe exchange or a cooking competition are ways to engage your team remotely. Restaurant delivery is also an option for those who are not culinary-inclined.
Did an employee mention craving a particular snack or express the need for a specific home office trinket? Take note of the minor things brought up in conversation during regular meetings and send a personalized care package and card to each employee around the holidays. It may be as simple as a bag of bagels from the local coffee shop or chair cushion to combat backaches, but acknowledging these small things discussed in passing goes a long way.
Confined in our homes, quarantine has given many the opportunity to explore hidden talents and the time to accomplish tasks that have long been on our wish list. Cue the digital curtains (there’s a Zoom filter for everything) and put in your wireless headphone mic of choice. It’s time for a company-wide talent show! Give your employees an opportunity to showcase their new skills learned outside of work hours. It can be an entertaining way for your team to learn something new about one another.
Surprise your office with an inspiring guest speaker on a team call. Are there any role models in your industry/network that your team would be excited to learn from? Is there a musician/artist that could treat your team to a once in a lifetime performance? Invite someone of note or relevance to connect with your team over video.
Awards and Recognition
Work from home allowed colleagues the opportunity to see each other in a different light and perhaps revealed quirky characteristics or untapped skills of teammates. Send around an anonymous poll and follow up with an award celebration. In addition to the normal “Most Improved” and “Highest Sales” achievements, reward the “Best Zoom Background,” “Best Guest Appearance" on a video call, and “Most Likely to Give the Best Answer to a Question You Hadn’t Asked Yet” during a company-wide superlatives meeting. This activity will serve as both a team bonding experience and a light-hearted way to recap some of the highlights and funny moments of the year.
2020 took a mental and physical toll on us all. Invest in a company-wide virtual retreat. This could be a live streamed yoga/meditation class or a stipend towards a wellness option of your employees’ choice. Make it a point to allocate a period at the end of this year for your team to decompress and reflect. While everyone has their own way of handling tumultuous times, it is crucial to remain cognizant of your team’s need for a break.
What does your company plan to do this year? Let us know, and we may add it to our list. We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, see you next year!