The holidays are officially here – and for many companies, they may look a little (or a lot) different this year.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, annual parties and festive office decorations may have to be passed over – but that doesn’t mean the holidays shouldn’t be celebrated.
In fact, workplace culture expert Taylor Paone says that after all the turmoil this year, it’s never been more important to celebrate accomplishments. Plus, as you know, employee recognition and a little fun go a long way to reduce burnout and turnover.
The challenge in 2020 is finding ways to have fun while keeping your employees safe, Paone adds. And for CFOs, the other challenge is doing so without breaking the bank.
Check out four ways your finance team or entire company could celebrate the holidays this year:
1. Keep tradition – just take it virtual
The good news: Many of the holiday traditions you and employees had in the office can still be done virtually.
For example, let’s say your company usually hosts a holiday party that included traditions like a raffle, an ugly sweater contest and a round of holiday trivia. This year, just take your party virtual! Employees can still hold a raffle, sweater contest and trivia over video call.
Incorporating those usual traditions could help employees feel a sense of normalcy and comfort during this time.
2. Tweak traditions, too
Of course, there may be some traditions that don’t translate virtually … but your company can get creative.
For example, let’s say you normally do a cookie exchange or potluck lunch, where everyone brings and shares their favorite treats. If you can’t do that this year because people are working remotely and/or concerned about spreading germs, have everyone send in a cookie or food recipe instead.
Then, enlist a few creative marketers or admin pros to put together a digital company recipe book. Now you have a fun, cost-free keepsake for employees – and they’ll be able to whip up “Helen’s Molasses Snaps” or “Gary’s Brie and Cranberry Dip” for their own holiday celebrations.
3. Have a mailed gift exchange
Employees may not be able to hand out gifts in person – but that’s where mail services come in handy.
Leaders can randomly pick “Secret Santas” and set a dollar amount cap. (You’ll want to do this ASAP with the holidays fast approaching!) During the next week or so, be sure to remind everyone to ship their gifts in plenty of time. Then, before the holiday, hold a video call during which everyone opens their gifts.
4. Organize an outing
If state regulations allow it and employees are comfortable getting together in a safe, socially distant way, you could plan a group outing. Here are some ideas:
- Give back. This year has taught people the importance of being there for each other. To positively impact your community, your team could volunteer at a soup kitchen or participate in a charity drive.
- Get outside. During the pandemic, experts say outdoor activities are more favorable than indoor ones. So, do something festive like ice skating in the city or walking through a winter light display.