An important part of any workplace culture is how you celebrate the holidays. Don’t just buy a bunch of red cups and have an office party – get into the season. That means creativity and sharing. A good holiday activity can bring your team closer and make your community a better place.
Here are five festive workplace activities you and your team can try.
Holiday Cookie Contest
This one is pretty straight-forward: everything is better when cookies are involved. It’s also a great way to learn which of your coworkers has been harbouring a secret talent for baking.
Team members are encouraged to bake a batch of cookies for the staff. After a team-wide taste test (yes, this is where you get to eat cookies), a winner is crowned. Since your in-house bakers have done all the work, be sure to get creative with prizes: anything from a new set of cookie sheets to a mixer will say thanks and – hint, hint – keep the cookies coming.
Aside from cookies, the holiday season is really about giving. Research has shown that compared to our American counterparts, Canadians give far less to charity. Get into the spirit and prove these statistics wrong by volunteering for a great cause with your co-workers. Find out if your local soup kitchen is looking for help or organize a fundraiser. Ask the most community-minded member of your staff if there are any great local initiatives in need of support. Seeing each other in a different light and doing something constructive will bring your team together like nothing else.
Gingerbread House Contest
This one is pure fun. Grab some supplies at your local supermarket – either a pre-fab kit or just the raw materials if you’re a master-builder – and get building. Divide your team into three or four groups (space permitting). You can add color or ingredient challenges if you want to get really serious, then ask an independent judge to choose a winner. For major bonus points, get the whole team together and build a replica of your office space… then devour it as a group. Nothing tastes better.
Toy Drive Secret Santa
A twist on your typical secret Santa gift exchange and a great way to give and receive gifts while also giving back to the community. After drawing names out of a hat each team member will buy a toy that they would have loved as a child. It’s the thought that counts. After the exchange, all the toys will be donated to a local toy drive, just in time for Christmas. Everybody wins.
DIY Team Advent Calendar
Around the beginning of December, every staff member will bring in a small gift that can be shared amongst the whole team – chocolates, a game, anything fun that benefits the office. the team will open one gift per day and enjoy it together. The frequency and duration of the calendar can be adjusted depending on the size of your team.
Hopefully these ideas will make your office a little more festive this holiday season. You can tweak any of them to suit the culture and size of your office. You can also invite colleagues of various cultures to share their traditions with the team – another great way to get to know the people you work with.
Whatever you do, have fun – and remember to be generous to those less fortunate than yourself in whatever way you can.