Last week we talked about some important guidelines to follow for maintaining a holiday environment that's free from discrimination and harassment. Today's blog post is all about making your office party the best.
Most of us spend a lot of our lives at work, so it's only natural to want to bring some holiday cheer into the office environment. The holidays are a magical time of year for many; for others, the holiday season might intensify depression or loneliness. Whether you're the boss or an employee, here are a few fun and festive ways to go beyond the office holiday party and tastefully (and legally) brighten up your workplace this season:
Deck the halls: A little bit of holiday cheer goes a long way. Choose non-religious decorations such as twinkling lights, a happy holidays banner, or removable window decals like snowflakes. Display a fresh holiday wreath for an added aromatherapy benefit.
Offer support: Many people fight depression or struggle with family relationships during the holidays. If your organization offers an Employee Assistance Program, it's a good idea to remind your staff about it and other resources available to support mental health.
Give back: Whether you are arranging meals for a co-worker who is having surgery or collecting canned goods for the local food bank, finding ways to give back is a great way to come together and contribute to a greater cause.
Practice gratitude: Studies show that expressing gratitude makes people happier. Hang a piece of poster board in a staff area and ask employees to write down what they are grateful for; or provide notecards and encourage employees to express their thanks and appreciation for someone at work.
Bring goodies: Provide cookies and cider on a regular workday to liven up the mood and keep people motivated through the workday.
Share a meal: Have employees sign up to bring a crockpot lunch one day each week through the holiday season.
Host a holiday-themed contest: Nothing says holiday like a good old fashioned contest. Organize a competition for best cookie, ugliest sweater, or worst white elephant gift, and let the games begin. Offer a gift certificate as a prize to spice things up.
Party on the job: Not everyone looks forward to holiday office parties after hours, but almost everyone can get excited about taking an hour off of work to socialize. Show your appreciation for staff and clients by having a low-key shindig during business hours.
Don't force it: Seasonal decor and activities will be welcomed by many employees, but not all of them. Be sure to honor those who would much rather not participate by not singling them out or giving them a hard time.
Remember: holiday celebration in the workplace should be fun, low-key, and always optional.
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