It’s 2021 - chances are, last Christmas, your staff was burned out and social distancing mandates kept Christmas celebrations at a minimum. This year, you have a unique opportunity to celebrate and even incentivize your team for how far you all have come since 2020.
Now more than ever, the end of the year is a great way to thank your team for working hard, celebrate them and the wins you’ve had this year, and motivate and encourage them to keep working towards your mission as we go into 2022.
Strong team and organizational culture thrives when it’s rooted in intentional leadership. The holidays are one of the best times to offer your gratitude, thoughtful encouragement, and fun to your team. Here are 25 ideas to do just that. Try a few out and tell us how it goes.
Host a “12 Days of Christmas” challenge with activities like wearing festive socks or competing for the ugliest Christmas sweater - a fun activity whether you’re in person or remote!
Send a $5 Starbucks card or a few dollars via Venmo to remote employees and order everyone’s favorite coffee order for your in-person team.
Take an hour at the end of the day on a Friday to play some Christmas music and encourage team members to join in an in-office happy hour. Be sure to include a zoom link for remote team members to join in virtually!
Order lunch or breakfast for your staff one day. Use Uber Eats to deliver something to your remote team members!
Set up a hot chocolate bar in the breakroom.
Stream a Christmas film for a virtual movie night and send team members home with an at-home charcuterie board (or order one for virtual team members). You could even find a local shop that makes a mini-board and support a small business while you’re at it!
Set up a Christmas tree in the front lobby with paper ornaments for team members to share gratitude or encouragement for each other.
Offer an afternoon off following a team meeting for your staff to prep for the holidays or just enjoy the rest. Make sure your remote employees “sign off” too!
Volunteer together at a food bank or local charity.
Deliver or mail a handwritten Christmas card or note to each of your team members. Bonus Tip: Use personality insights inside Leadr to add a personal touch to each letter.
If your office normally has an expected dress code, consider a jeans day or relaxed attire day. Or host an ugly Christmas sweater all-staff party.
Organize a Secret Santa gift activity, and include remote employees too - there’s nothing more fun than getting a surprise secret package in the mail!
If you’re following a 12 Days of Christmas challenge, include a shout-out or intentional and thoughtful praise for one team member each day via a quick email or chat when you remind your team of the day’s challenge.
And while you’re at it, document the results! Share a group picture or Zoom screenshot on social media of everyone in their festive attire or sipping hot chocolate.
Go to the dollar store and buy each of your team members their favorite snack or drink (you can find staff favorites on your team member’s Care Card inside Leadr. Not a Leadr customer? Request a demo to see how features like the care card can benefit your team dynamics.)
Host an off-site happy hour or Christmas party for team members and invite remote employees to join if they live in the same city. Don’t forget to invite interns too.
Gift your team with something that relates to their personal development or where their unique gifts and strengths lie. Have an employee who is excellent at all things graphic design or a stellar writer? Consider paying for a subscription for Canva premium or Grammarly. Everyone has enough branded coffee mugs and this kind of gift reminds them that you see the unique value they bring to the team and you’re excited about and committed to their growth. If you’re not sure where to start, a leadership book is a great conversation starter.
Decorate your office with poinsettias or fresh Christmas wreaths. Does every team member have an office or a cubicle? Add a little wreath, potted poinsettia, or sprig of Christmas cheer to their door or wall - it’s a great surprise when they walk into work. For remote workers, order a poinsettia locally and have it delivered to them.
Bake a Christmas treat or batch of cookies to share.
Play Holiday Bingo all month - send a bingo card to remote employees and in-person team members and see how many people can check off. Maybe it includes things like donating a few cans of food for a food drive, completing a random and secret act of kindness, leaving a sticky note (or Slack message) of encouragement for someone else, or dressing up with reindeer ears or a Santa hat on a team call. Make sure your team sees you participating too!
For a twist on Holiday Bingo, use a template like this one below from TeamBuilding to encourage team members to find out something new about their colleagues. You may never find out your boss’ Christmas morning proposal story or that you have a team member who grew up having a White Christmas every year.
Invite team members for one on one meetings off-site - normally meet in your office? Change it up and buy them coffee and offer a chance to get out of the office by having a walking meeting. Your one-on-one attention and care will go a long way in developing and encouraging them.
Invest in a new piece of company swag and hand it out - think funky socks, pop sockets, Yeti tumblers or the good pens everyone loves.
Go on a kindness quest - take on someone’s most tedious project for a day, do all the dishes in the break room, splurge on some festive snacks to share, join your team at an empty desk next to them instead of working in your office, or offer your premium parking spot for a day to the newest or most entry-level team member. Once you get going on the random acts of kindness, it’s kind of hard to stop.
Share a joke or touching holiday story in your team’s inboxes to bring a smile or laugh in the midst of end-of-year stress.
A bonus suggestion - just say “thank you.” with a genuine smile.
We hope this helps you find ways to share your appreciation for your team in the midst of the busyness this holiday season.
Comment and let us know what we missed on our list.