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Festive Ways to Build Employee Engagement

Updated: Jan 2

At this time of year, we are all usually getting ready to celebrate Christmas with our work colleagues. Unfortunately, the traditional work Christmas party or do may have changed for many teams, due to previous years Covid changes, relocations or changes in the way people wish to celebrate. Here’s what you can do instead.

Working life has been a bit different since the start of 2021, with many employers continuing flexible working practises in the wake of the pandemic. Now many organisations are looking for alternative methods to socialise at Christmas.

Mind’s recent survey found that 33% of employees currently feel isolated. Therefore, the need to bring employees together and improve wellbeing is as important as ever. The Christmas get together is the perfect opportunity to celebrate achievements as well as the obstacles you’ve overcome together. Whilst you may not be able to have the traditional party, with some modification, you can still pull off a cracking Christmas celebration.

Plan Ahead

Give some thought to the date and time of the function to ensure this doesn’t mean a certain religious group is excluded from attending due to a foreseeable event.

Ask for ideas and volunteers

The best ideas will come from your employees. Ask for volunteers to get involved with the arrangements and ask employees what they would like to do. Gaining buy-in from employees up front will help prevent people feeling that they have been excluded from the arrangement.

Here are some great ways to get together and celebrate virtually:

Zoom virtual Christmas party

Celebrate via Zoom. Distinguish this one from you regular Zoom calls by sending invites, party hats, Christmas crackers and/or decorating kits ahead of the meeting to get your team into the Christmas spirit. Plus, you could ask your team to run a quiz, wear their Christmas jumpers, festive snail racing or card decorating. Then do a team vote on which one was the most hilarious or wacky.

Virtual secret Santa

The same rules apply here – you just do the picking of names online instead of from a hat! For instance, there a few apps that will do an anonymous selection and email the details to all participants. Gifts can simply be posted.

Christmas bake-off

Bring out the Mary Berry’s in your team by hosting your own virtual bake-off. You could even arrange to bake together online. Whilst you may not be able to taste the finished goods, you can always judge on your own criteria such as appearance or uniqueness.

Virtual theatre show or pantomime

Many theatres are showing virtual interactive pantomimes. Why not arrange to watch one together? Or if you really wanted to mix it up: create your own company version.

Online escape room

Host a virtual online escape room. If you have creative team members, ask them to draw up the challenges. If not, you could always purchase one online and tweak it to refer to your organisation.

Conduct rules apply

Whilst the overall aim is for everyone to have fun, if it’s a work organised event, all attendees will be bound by the same expectations of conduct that would normally be in place. Make sure employees are aware that offensive remarks or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Have fun

Whatever you choose to do, keep it lighthearted and have some fun!

Check out other Blogs in our series:

Please contact Robinson Grace HR for further advice and support via or call us on 01793 311937 to see if we can help you.

The content of our blogs is intended for general information only and does not replace legal or other professional advice.

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