As the COVID-19 pandemic fuels lockdowns around the world, more employees than ever before have transited to remote work. The workforce is operating almost entirely online. And with the holidays around the corner, in-person celebrations are no longer an option. Businesses are now looking for innovative ways to bring the holiday spirit virtually to employees.
Celebrating the holidays as a team is great for boosting employee morale. In addition, it is also a nice way of showing appreciation for those who have worked hard through the pandemic. While this is typically a time for families to gather, this year will be very different. And it will make a big difference to your employees during the pandemic if they were shown a little love and care.
There is little time left to create the holiday spirit virtually for your employees. So here are just a few easy ways to share the season of love and giving with your employees, without breaking the bank.
Plan a Virtual Office Holiday Party
Video conferencing is not just for work calls and collaboration. Most employees are well-versed with video calls and tools by now. Why not expand its use and host a virtual office party instead?
Bring employees together to celebrate this festive season and touch base on a lighter, more fun note this year. Virtual office parties are great for the COVID-19 holidays. They are safe for all to attend and can still carry all the fun from an actual office party!
There are many ways to plan a virtual office party. Fully hosted virtual holiday parties are now more popular than ever. Services like Ten Spot provide a wide range of services from wellness to trivia to cater to your virtual party. Virtual holiday party planning services like this make it hassle-free to plan your party. And these parties are packed with the holiday spirit your employees need without the fuss.
Planning the party yourself?
Fun games and interesting ideas can spruce up any virtual holiday party. Virtual gingerbread wars are a thing this year. Employees compete to build gingerbread houses that are delivered in advance. Holiday bingo always gets everyone on their toes. Holiday dress-up adds a little excitement to the virtual party. And special holiday soundtracks created by every employee will add a load of fun to the virtual party!
There are so many ways you can make a virtual holiday party a great experience for everyone. Think out-of-the-box and get help from employees if needed. Many employees have a knack for hosting parties. And they might even have fun ideas to add to the party.
Send Virtual Holiday eCards
It’s always nice to hear from the company you work for sending their best wishes and appreciation for the holidays. eCards are a great, affordable way to reach employees and bring the holiday spirit. In addition, eCards make great invitations to that virtual holiday party you are planning.
Sending eCards does not have to be time-consuming. And you do not have to design them on your own. Paperless Post has great holiday greeting cards and party invites that are easy to order and add personalized messages to. Minted also has a great collection of customized gifts and cards for every employee. Simply select the design of your choice and add a personalized note. These electronic cards get delivered right to your inbox. And they make a great surprise!
Holiday greetings make a nice surprise and can be used to show how much you value each and every one of your employees. These greeting cards are also a great addition to bring the holiday spirit virtually to your employees.
Host a Virtual Gift Exchange
Secret Santa is a fantastic holiday tradition. It’s been around for decades and can now be done virtually! Gift exchanges are always a favorite at office holiday parties. You can host one online as well, so everyone still has a chance to be Secret Santa!
There are many ways to host a virtual gift exchange. Santa’s Secret Keeper is an app that pairs up employees for a gift exchange and provides details and instructions easily via email. Elfster is another site that you can host your gift exchange with. Many of these sites offer free services and paid add-ons if you want to add to the gift exchange. They are easy to start a holiday gift exchange online. In addition, it removes the logistics and planning on your part.
Another option is to incorporate the gift exchange into the virtual office party. Google Hangouts is great for this and is completely free. Zoom is a popular option and many already know how to use it. Match employees as Secret Santa and recipient prior to the virtual holiday party. This way, employees have time to choose and order gifts.
One important tip is to make sure instructions and pricing is clear. Ensure that everyone is informed of the requirements. All gifts should be delivered wrapped. Amazon has great gifts and gift options to have them wrapped prior to shipping.
Also, make sure that participants have a way of signing up and know exactly when to send their gifts by. This way, everyone can unwrap their gifts in front of the camera. This makes it as exciting as an in-person exchange. Furthermore, it adds to the suspense of opening gifts until the party begins.
Send Food Delivery Gift Cards
Food insecurity is one of the biggest problems of this pandemic. During the holidays, this becomes a more difficult situation for many employees, even if they do not say so. Many employees might be having a tough year especially when it comes to having delicious meals over the holidays.
Food delivery gift cards are a great way to help employees out so they and their families can enjoy a nice meal without having to worry about forking out too much. They get to choose their favorite restaurants and order anything they like! Door Dash is virtually everywhere and delivers great meals from local restaurants. Uber Eats is another such service that has numerous restaurants set to deliver for the holidays.
Food delivery gift cards are sent electronically via email. So, it makes it an easy and hassle-free gift idea indeed.
Mail Handwritten Notes
If eCards are not your thing, try sending handwritten notes instead. Handwritten notes are a fantastic way to show you care. With the pandemic, many employees do not get to see family and loved ones over the holidays. Others have lost the opportunity to have that personal touch with those they miss.
Handwritten notes reflect sincerity and can really share the holiday spirit with just a few genuine thoughts and kind words. If your company has more employees than you can write notes to, managers are a great help here. Direct managers have close interpersonal relationships with their team members. And they will know what to add to a personalized message to make it more sincere.
If you have your own corporate design for physical greeting cards, Zazzle allows you to customize holiday greeting cards. Just upload your design and have it shipped directly to you. Handwrite your holiday note or message for each employee and mail the card. It’s definitely worth the postage.
Exchange Recipe Ideas
What’s missing from the holidays this year is human interaction and the ability to share all the wonderful holiday ideas and recipes with fellow coworkers. Everyone has a different recipe or tradition they can share. Why not host a recipe exchange where employees can share their favorite recipes with one another to add to the holiday cheer.
Not sure how to start one? It’s simple.
You can have a theme or a key dish such as a cookie recipe exchange or the best turkey recipe exchange. Anything that is fun or interesting goes! It could even be a holiday cocktail recipe exchange.
Next is to host the exchange. Social media channels like Instagram or Facebook are great platforms to host a holiday recipe exchange. A private Facebook Group keeps all recipes within employees only. Or use a specific hashtag on Instagram so employees can easily share and find recipes. Set a start and end date that employees can post and invite everyone to try out each other’s recipes. To top it all off, you can add all recipes submitted to an online page or email. This makes it easy to share and access recipes. In addition, employees can stay connected by posting feedback once they’ve tried a recipe out.
The idea is to bring the holiday spirit virtually to your employees. And to keep the connection going throughout the holidays.
With just a little effort and a whole lot of sincerity, you can make this holiday season an appreciative and grateful one for all your employees. It does not take much. And employees will know that you value them.
What a great way to close 2020 on a good note. And what a better way to kick off the new year!