If there ever is the best time to boost employee productivity, engagement, and morale, that time is now. After the past 20 months, when, as colleagues, we’re all stuck at home and only interacting via Zoom, it’s time to treat ourselves to a nice corporate holiday party. And don’t we—from rank-and-file to those in the managerial positions—deserve that? Even the company deserves to treat itself and its employees to a night of holiday festivities that will trump all the pain and losses of the past year.
The pandemic hasn’t been kind to anyone. Even businesses that have managed to escape the pandemic’s deep-seethed clutches have been somehow affected by it. They lost long-time employees, forcing many of them into retirement. So, if your business is still standing and earning right now, you need to celebrate that one simple fact. If the pandemic cannot push you on your knees, then what else can? You will be more circumspect in your business decisions. You have learned in the past year that the next crisis is just around the corner, so you will prepare your organization for that.
Somehow, businesses in a post-pandemic have emerged stronger and more capable. If that is not a good reason to celebrate, then what is? So, ready those party shoes and prepare to dance the pandemic blues away because as the number of COVID-19 cases dwindles and people get their vaccines, the chances of a successful holiday party become clearer.
Splurge on Your Employees
This does not mean bankrupting yourself or taking out a loan for a party. What splurging means is subject to how much your business can afford. If it can afford to rent a private boat cruise, then so be it. There’s nothing like the sight of the Sydney Harbor while sipping champagne and nibbling on canapes. But if your business can only rent a small café that serves amazing Neopolitan pizza and cold beers, then who’s complaining?
There are many ways to splurge on them, too. If you cannot rent a whole boat or a hotel ballroom, then why not give them a token of your appreciation? Perhaps, a gift certificate for a staycation in a nearby hotel is more possible? How about a voucher to their favorite coffee shop? These are simple, inexpensive, but thoughtful ways to encourage your employees to have fun this holiday season.
Organize a Pandemic-themed Awards Show
Normally, you will award the best employee with the most number of deadlines beaten in the past year or the employee who’s the favorite of new hires. The pandemic created another set of awards—the most upbeat employee during the whole ordeal with the pandemic. How about an award for the employee who didn’t miss a single deadline despite being distracted at home by the kids? These are weird-sounding awards, but these are exactly the kind of situations that your employees faced in the past year. These deserve an award.
Treat Them to a Trip
If you have a small staff, can you afford to take them out of town or even the country? You can rent a nice villa in Lake Tahoe and play team-building activities by the bonfire. You can also have a wellness weekend at a nearby spa. The point of the trip is to treat them to a relaxing activity where there is no work talk and definitely no clients that they have to manage.
Host a Game Night
Games are still the most fun way to get to know each other. If you have a lot of new blood in your company, you may want to engage them in a game of Pictionary, Scrabble, bingo, and charades. They can let loose and get to know each other beyond the usual work talk. If some of your employees are still not comfortable attending a game in person, they can attend it virtually. They can still join in on the fun along with their other workmates.
Spend the Day Volunteering
Times have been hard the past year. What better way to show your gratitude than to organize a day of volunteering? You can set up a soup kitchen to feed the homeless. You can also spend a day in a local hospital to be with cancer patients (if that is already allowed in your jurisdiction). You can partner with a local group that can link you with organizations in your local area.
Even though many of you might have suffered because of the pandemic, there is still enough reason to celebrate. You being here–alive and functioning–is a good reason to party this holiday season. And the fact that your business is still standing? That’s another reason to dance the night away.