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workplace celebration

Workplaces Can Celebrate While Scaling Back

The holiday season is just around the corner and leaders in every sector are thinking about how to show appreciation. Although the big “holiday party” has been the customary way to say thanks to employees, many organizations are scaling back. But traditions are important. Appreciation is important. And, a celebration doesn’t need to be expensive to be meaningful. In fact, a celebration that is personal and genuine can be far more memorable and culture-building. This might be the year to redefine how and what you celebrate! What really matters is the chance to convey good wishes, express our thanks, celebrate the friendships and to come together as a workplace team.

How do you make it memorable without breaking the bank? Three ideas:

  1. Celebrate with something simple.
    Skating, a walk through the park (with hot chocolate and cookies at the end), a bowling competition, holiday charades… it’s about fun, getting to see a new side of your co-workers, and sharing a common experience. Creating a planning committee with representatives from different areas of the organization can be a helpful way of generating ideas and firming up a plan that will engage employees.
  2. Celebrate by “getting to know you better.”
    Few gifts are greater than the opportunity to feel known and understood. Try games, gift exchanges, friendly competitions that enable participants to learn more about each other. One organization created a gift exchange between employees of personal gestures to be given at unexpected times throughout the year – coffee, lunch or snacks hand-delivered with a personal note.
  3. Celebrate by “giving back.”
    Often the satisfaction from helping others is far greater than “receiving,” and to do so together as a work group can be particularly meaningful. It may be choosing to support a favorite charity, to participate as a group in a charitable event, or to collect for a food hamper or coat drive. Again, a planning committee can be a helpful way of devising a plan that will engage employees.

Saying “thank-you” and expressing appreciation for the great work of employees cannot be underestimated. A personal card or note from an employer that genuinely states admiration for an individual’s contribution and hard work is often greatly valued by an employee. Most importantly, keep it going year-round! Cultivate a culture of appreciation. Gratitude and appreciation are essential for a healthy work environment. We know from extensive research that the number one reason why people leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. A simple thank you and a show of appreciation can make all the difference.