With the festive season fast approaching, thoughts are turning to what Christmas will look like this year in light of the current COVID-19 regulations. It’s impossible to know exactly what restrictions will be in place but it’s certain that this Christmas will be vastly different to what we are used to.
The Christmas season is often an opportunity for employers to reward their employees’ hard work throughout the year and show their appreciation. Given the trials and tribulations everyone has faced this year, it is arguably even more important for employers to show their appreciation. But the question is, how can this be done?
It is highly unlikely that Secret Santa can be carried out in the traditional capacity but that doesn’t mean it is a write off. 2020 has demonstrated our ability to make most things virtual and Secret Santa is no exception. There are several websites that can be utilised to help you organise a virtual gift exchange. It can be arranged for gifts to be sent directly to participants to then be opened over a team video call – but make sure you have their permission first.
If there are more than six people in your team, it is likely that restrictions will prevent any team Christmas meals from taking place this year. However, you can still spread some festive cheer by organising takeaways to be delivered to your employees and their families. Alternatively, you could provide your employees with a voucher for a local restaurant of their choosing. This not only shows your employees they are valued but also helps to support local businesses.
Christmas Jumper Day
On Friday 11th December Save the Children are holding their annual Christmas Jumper Day. Given the current climate, fundraising activities may need to be adapted in line with COVID regulations. For those still working on-site, you may wish to organise for donations to be made online to avoid any hygiene issues associated with handling cash. For employees working from home, you may wish to organise a team video call to give everyone the chance to show off their festive threads. If you wanted to pull out all of the stops for your fundraising, you could arrange for packages to be sent to your employees containing all of the craft items required for them to decorate their own jumpers. You could then organise virtual workshops for everyone to get together and create their own festive masterpieces for a small fee.
It’s safe to say that this years’ Christmas party is unlikely to go ahead in the typical sense. However, there are a number of ways this can be overcome to ensure the festive season is still full of cheer.
The idea of another Zoom event may fill some employees with a sense of dread so you may need to take a new approach if you are planning on hosting a virtual Christmas party. You may wish to host a number of different virtual events so participants can decide which ones they wish to attend. These could include virtual cocktail masterclasses, virtual bingo or Christmas quizzes. You could also send out party bags before the big event including snacks, drinks and any accessories they may need to participate in these activities.
Alternatively, you could host an award ceremony for your employees. Depending on your organisation size and structure, it may still be possible to hold a socially distanced ceremony in the office or it could easily be adapted to suit a virtual platform. This is an opportunity to really show your employees you are grateful for their hard work throughout the uncertain times that have been faced with. You can get everyone involved by asking them to nominate those that they feel have gone above and beyond this year for the company and for their colleagues.
If you wanted to avoid virtual events altogether, you could create a Christmas countdown. In the leadup to the big day, you could announce employees at random to receive a prize, with the loot getting bigger each day. Or if you wanted to kick it up a notch, you could send a Christmas-themed question, anagram, or activity to everyone and the first people to complete them receives a prize. This will help lift everyone’s spirits as well as showing them they are valued.
It’s important to get your HR’s opinion on what is appropriate for your business and team during this time. Need advice on this? Get in touch! Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 538 5311.