How do you celebrate Christmas during COVID? In a year when your staff, more than ever, deserve thanks it looks like the Christmas party will be impossible to pull off and any festive celebration will be difficult and very different from the way that your staff are used to…
Even if we are out of lockdown in early December it is quite likely that there will be pressure to find ways to celebrate whilst also complying with the ‘rule of six’, social distancing guidelines, reduced hours and all the other rules and regulations that are imposed upon us as a result of COVID.
However, with a little creativity and effort it will be possible to reward and engage your staff in different ways this year, some ideas are as follows:
A virtual alternative to the Christmas ‘do’ is par for the course in a year dominated by zoom or teams or the like! A Christmas quiz may be a little tame and the chances are quizzes have become the end of month ‘norm’ but you could send out party packs in advance of the event containing the following:
• Cocktail making equipment
• Pictionary – it’s possible – and fun – to play this over video
• Themed cards, hats and props for a game of charades
• Festive-themed bingo sets
• Virtual karaoke – end of night once everyone has warmed up!
Eat, drink and be merry
This could be a simple gift of a voucher for your employee and their family for a food delivery service, so they can dine in on the company.
More ambitiously, especially if you are all geographically close by, you could set aside a time when a local pub, restaurant or takeaway will deliver so you can enjoy food together, but apart. Don’t forget a box of Christmas crackers!
There are plenty of online Secret Santa sites that can help organise a present-giving system, either with contributions from the employer or with an agreed spending limit for participants.
With a bit of planning, gifts can be delivered and then opened at an agreed time on a team video call! Just make sure you agree the logistics – who contributes, how much, and who covers practicalities such as postage costs.
Say it with a hamper
Christmas hampers can sometimes feel a bit old-fashioned and don’t always deliver the best value for money – but choose carefully and they can be very well received. Be thoughtful about the contents – alcohol or meat products may not be appropriate for everyone – and try to personalise wherever possible.
Twelve Days of Christmas!
Why not host your very own 12 days of Christmas! You could, for example, set aside a prize fund for each day from December 1st to the 12th. Pull names out of a hat to win a prize each day, with maybe twelve winners on 1 December, eleven on 2 December and so on…..until there is one big winner on the final day – the prizes get bigger as the number of winners get smaller!
Staff awards ceremony
As well as thanking all employees who have worked so hard to keep the business going through exceptional challenges with a gift or an event, you could pay special attention to those who have gone the extra mile during lockdown and beyond. An online ‘awards ceremony’ could be held by you with silly hats rather than black tie!
There’s always next year…
Although activities like these aren’t exactly what we imagined we’d be doing at this time of year, businesses must get imaginative and find new ways to excite employees and inject some fun into their day – these sorts of virtual experiences and events are a great alternative way to engage and motivate your employees this year…..doing nothing is not an option!
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