Ahhh December! For those around the world that celebrate some sort of December holiday, this is the month that can be super exciting, full of good cheer, and a time of fun family and friend connections.
Or… it can be a very challenging month full of stress, too much to do with too little time, or a time that highlights the distance of family and friends.
Leaders are also talking about the added stress. Several leaders shared their ‘normal’ excitement about implementing some fun December activities, secret Santa, ugly sweater day, and potluck lunches.
This year is a much different experience with people working from home, or if they are onsite, many restrictions that make the ‘former normal’ impossible.
As we dove deeper into these conversations it wasn’t so much about the loss of these activities, but that these activities fulfilled a desire to do something extra special to ease the burden and show how their team how much they are appreciated.
It is also a way to inject some fun into environments that might be heavily focused on tasks and results. December for some is all about appreciation and relationships!
So, the brainstorm began in an effort to support leaders to come up with alternative ways of injecting some fun and continuing to show their appreciation, and here are some of the highlights:
- Have personalized gifts delivered to employees’ homes -- cosy blankets, sweaters, robes, and heated mugs. This article shares how companies’ values have been tested during the pandemic and that gift-giving is a great way to show employees your gratitude, strengthening human connection, and showing support and care during troubled times.
- Make a Barbara Kruger style art piece with a theme centered around your org/team.
- Use Skip the Dishes or Uber Eats to order the whole team lunch delivered to their door and then have a fun meal together. Implement the ‘no work talk’ rule!
- Invite everyone to dress up for a team meeting. Could be a silly costume day, a lazy pajama day, or an ugly Christmas sweater day, or even one per week for the month.
- Use Netflix Party to watch movies or shows as a team.
- Host a virtual concert – invite people who play instruments to showcase their talents, and put up lyrics so people can sing along.
- Host a weekly holiday work out or meditation break.
- Support a local business - invite a local chef, bartender, sommelier, artist, painter etc. to join your virtual huddle and teach their skills to your team. Eg. you can host a cocktail night, an afternoon cooking or a paint-night by sending a list of products needed and a set time when everyone will gather around their screens to listen to the “star host”.
- Do a virtual escape room. At Epiphany, we have used virtual escape rooms in our workshops with great success. They are excellent team building exercises and provide a fun outlet for learning.
- Rent out a virtual reality arcade for the day. The staff at the arcade will help walk your team through any technical piece. You and your entire team can be in the same virtual room and play games. You can pick a game that is more team focused, for example “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes”. In this game each teammate must help each other by communicating the right information and successfully disarming a bomb. The entire team is forced to work together. It is a fantastic team building game and is also super fun.
We can still stay connected and let people know we appreciate their efforts, especially in such a challenging year. We would love to hear what you are doing!