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The Ultimate HR Guide to Holiday Team-Building Activities

15 Dec


When the holiday season comes around, many companies struggle with whether they should host celebrations or events. One way to acknowledge this festive time of year is to engage in holiday team-building activities.

End-of-year team-building activities send your employees into the new year on a positive note. It’s been a whole year of successes and challenges, and maybe some stressful moments. The close of the year and holidays are a great way to give back to your staff and take some of the pressure off. Deciding how to celebrate the holidays so everyone can feel included isn’t always easy. Here we’ll provide some ideas that will ensure everyone has fun and some tips and best practices for successful holiday celebrations to bring people together.

Why Holiday Team Building Matters

While ongoing bonding opportunities are important, it’s even more beneficial to engage in end-of-the-year team-building activities. Holiday team building not only fosters collaboration, but it does so in a friendly, festive environment. 85% of employees feel that holiday parties have a positive impact on team morale and motivation. 60% of employees prefer seasonal events over standard activities.

Holiday team building is a great way to promote team bonding, improve productivity, and strengthen relationships as the team comes together without work-related stress and focuses on lighthearted pursuits.

Year-end Ideas and Activities for the Workplace

If you’re looking for ideas to promote holiday office fun, we’ve found a few inspirations that won’t violate any human resource policies.

Collaborative Holiday Games and Challenges

Games and challenges are great for team bonding in the office and remotely.  Some ideas include:

  • Office decorating competition: If your team is in-office, you can host a decorating competition where employees can choose to decorate their workspace with seasonal, work-appropriate decorations. You can have prizes for the team members with the most festive desks/cubicles, etc.
  • Virtual trivia: If some, or all, of your team is remote, there are plenty of virtual team-building activities you can do. From trivia to virtual scavenger hunts, there are plenty of gaming platforms that work well for remote teams, and you can create holiday-themed games.
  • Cookie baking challenge: Hosting a cookie baking challenge is a great way to get employees engaged. Your team can bake cookies—or another treat of choice—to compete for prizes. You can include different categories such as overall winner, best decoration, most festive, most creative, etc.

Volunteering and Giving Back

Holiday team-building activities don’t have to just be games and parties. This is also a perfect time of year to give back to the community. Some options include:

  • Volunteer time: During the day, volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter. You can also ask your team to sign up for park cleanups.
  • Toy drives: Host a toy drive or supply drive for animal shelters. These can also be done virtually for your remote employees.
  • Giving trees: Work with local children’s charities to provide specific gifts for children and families in need. Details about the child and the gift they’d like are written on an ornament and placed on the tree. Employees can select an ornament and purchase the gift to provide to the charity.

Team Building Workshops

Workshops are a great way to get your team together for bonding as well as employ critical thinking or learn a new skill. Some examples include:

  • Gingerbread house making: You can split your team up into smaller groups and each group can work together to build a gingerbread house.
  • Holiday-themed escape rooms: Escape rooms promote collaboration and critical thinking as well as provide a fun environment for your team to bond and work together outside of the office.
  • Cooking classes: Inviting the team to a cooking or baking class is another great way to get everyone together and in the holiday spirit, while learning a new skill. These can also be done online, so your remote team members can enjoy this activity.

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Tips to Plan Successful Holiday Team Building Activities

Here are some quick tips and best practices to ensure your team bonding activity is successful, no matter which activity you choose to do:

  • Make sure employees know attendance for all holiday-themed events is optional. This ensures employees who want to partake in the festivities can, and those who don’t want to are not obligated to.
  • Try to avoid specific holiday-themed events. It’s important to remember that not everyone celebrates the same holiday, and all employees should feel included.
  • If you are encouraging festive attire for holiday parties (such as holiday-themed sweaters etc.) make sure employees are still following the company dress code policy.
  • Workspace decorations shouldn’t cause a safety violation and employees should avoid using any displays that might be taken as offensive. If in doubt about a decoration, it’s best to skip it altogether.

Celebrate Your Team this Holiday!

Your team has done a lot this year. The end of the year and holiday season are a great time to de-stress and have some fun. If you are looking for ideas or want to make sure your holiday activities are HR-approved, your team at VensureHR can help. We’re all for employee engagement and our team of HR professionals provides expert guidance on the best strategies for your business. Contact us to learn more.

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