Choice Stories

November 19, 2020

Celebrating the Holidays with Employees During COVID

The 2020 holiday season will be unlike any other you and your workers have experienced thanks to COVID-19. That doesn’t mean you should skip celebrating the upcoming holidays with your employees. In fact, coming together – even virtually – is important to building and maintaining team morale. Be sure, though, you do it in a safe and comfortable way for all.

Here are several ideas to consider.

Start by Decorating

Everyone likes a festive office. If your employees have returned to work, even for reduced days, a decorated space sets a positive tone. You may also want to give awards for individually decorated cubicles or offices. This will add some friendly competition to the mix. If your workforce is mostly remote, you can base your contest on home decorations.

Get the Trees Involved

Decorating does not have to be limited to the office or home. Whether your employees celebrate Christmas or not, they may still enjoy a tree-decorating contest. This can happen on site or remotely. On-site workers can decorate on a staggered schedule to uphold social distancing. Remote workers can compete against each other with their home-decorated trees.

Classic Ugly Sweater Contest

The ugly sweater contest never seems to gets old. It’s a chance for your team to be creative. Define categories – funniest, ugliest, and most festive – and have employees vote on each one. Prizes can go to the winner in each category. This competition is particularly easy to coordinate whether staff is on- or off-site.

Holiday Party with a Twist

Unfortunately, a big, in-person holiday party is probably not an option this year. If you do attempt a socially distant party, all employees should wear masks. Many companies are opting for virtual holiday parties this year. You could get together on a video conference platform like Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, and play holiday-themed games and music.

Virtual Gift Exchange

Something else you can do virtually is a gift exchange. You can ask employees to share a short list of gift items or gift cards they would like, and then draw names among those who volunteer to take part. (It’s a good idea to make the whole thing voluntary, since some staff may not celebrate Christmas.) You can ask that all items be mailed to your office and then redistribute them to employees’ home addresses, share addresses so employees can mail items directly to their coworkers, or limit gifts to e-cards that can be sent via email. The folks at offer other Secret Santa ideas here.  

We offer tips on streamlining your gift giving using Cal Perks here. ADD LINK TO OTHER POST FOR DECEMBER

Start Planning Now

If you haven’t started planning, now is the time. Don’t wait to announce your plans. Give your employees something to look forward to – and a chance to prepare for your holiday activities.

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