At the end of the calendar year, workplace holiday celebrations are experiences that many employees look forward to. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are evaluating how to engage employees safely this holiday season. Leaders find themselves tasked with deciding whether they should cancel or postpone celebrations, or offer an amended version that prioritizes safety—with many choosing to offer a virtual holiday party.
Considerations for Employers
Holiday celebrations can positively impact employee engagement, but benefits should be weighed against other factors such as financial costs and concerns over safety. For employers choosing to offer a celebration even when virtual, an event can be comprised of a variety of activities—with many options that can take place virtually. These include a:
- Secret Santa gift exchange
- Virtual mixer
- Gingerbread house contest
- Ugly sweater/mask contest
- Holiday karaoke
- Online escape room
- Trivia contest
When hosting a holiday event, employers should make sure to follow best practices, such as:
- Keeping attendance optional
- Keeping events general rather than religious celebrations
- Ensuring employees are aware of policies and expected behaviors
There are a variety of ways that leaders can recognize employees this holiday season, and employers should consider which initiatives are appropriate for their workplace.