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10 activities to engage your team over the festive period

As we approach December, all heads turn towards ‘the most wonderful time of year’! Now, unless you have a team full of Scrooges, the holiday season is a great occasion to connect with your employees, boost engagement and, of course, have some fun!

At WorkBuzz, our mentality is ‘work hard, play hard’. We’re always buzzing, busy, and working away like Santa’s elves, but our commitment to our jobs is frequently rewarded, and we also benefit from seeing the business thrive as a result. As a company that centres around employee experience, this is an all-year-round approach to working life for us WorkBuzzers that works, but for many companies, in today’s competitive landscape and war to attract and retain talent, the Christmas period is a prime opportunity to rouse company culture and make the most of the seasonal excitement.

Beyond the work Christmas party – which should already be organised 😉 – there’s a whole host of ways to engage with your team and make an extra effort to help them feel appreciated. And after the 18 months we’ve had as employees, timing couldn’t be better. So, whether your staff are in the office, working from home, on the frontline, or a mix, there’s an activity (or three) for everyone to help with engagement:

  1. Host an award ceremony – with the end of the calendar year fast approaching, why not award your staff for their hard work and effort in a fun awards ceremony? You could consider awards such as: ‘the office joker’, ‘the most encouraging employee’, ‘the best person for keeping customers happy’ or ‘the messiest work desk of 2021’!
  2. Organise secret Santa or White Elephant – the latter is especially fun and relieves the pressure of having to buy/make a present for a specific individual
  3. Challenge your team to a Christmas cookie contest – be careful you don’t end up with a bunch of Prue and Pauls though
  4. Bring an edible advent calendar into the office – let each team member take turns to open a door – you can even go one step further and create your own unique calendar
  5. Surprise your staff – treat them to a box of mince pies, Percy Pigs, or a festive favourite – a Terry’s chocolate orange each
  6. Host Christmas jumper day – the worst jumper wins a £25 restaurant voucher!
  7. Volunteering or supporting your local food bank – Christmas is the time for giving, so why not give something back this year?
  8. Make a Christmas playlist with everyone’s favourite festive tunes – just an FYI that Bublé is banned from ours
  9. Set up a mini Christmas tree or work desk decorating contest – send a picture of your masterpieces to each other on Slack and let the judging commence
  10. Team building fun – why not try the holiday habits common denominator challenge (explained below*)? or play some games? There’s nothing like some holiday-themed Who am I? or the golden oldie – Pictionary!

Although the Christmas season is a great time to boost engagement with your people and be especially merry, we believe it’s crucially important to keep your employees engaged all through the year. Why not let the good times roll into next year with an organised staff snowball fight or a trip to the local ice rink?

Okay, enough of the ‘tough stuff’. Have you come up with your own unique activity to engage your team this Christmas or would you like to share one of the above? We’d love to hear all about it! Email: hello@workbuzz.com or tag us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, and let that festive buzz begin. Christmas songs have started appearing on the radio after all!


*Holiday habits common denominator activity explained: Split your team into small groups of two or three people. Ask them to find a holiday habit or tradition they all have in common. Once complete, ask the team to share their findings with the broader team and ask if there were any surprises. This activity is fab for bigger teams and can help to address barriers to collaboration as it facilitates conversation.

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