02 Dez Are you cancelling your Christmas staff party? – Why this is probably not a good idea.
The year 2020 has been a quite challenging one for the most of us. We had to become creative and flexible to create new solutions for our daily work. Some of us also had to develop new business ideas to adapt to the new lockdown situation.
For me as a Work- & Organizational Psychologist it was very interesting to see how different people dealt with this situation. I could observe people being in different phases of the Kübler-Ross Change Curve: Some people were in shock, some tried to deny the situation – just “waited” and did not want to change anything until the Pandemic is over (and there are a few who are still in denial) & some people adapted very quickly to the new situation and created innovative ideas. Regardless in which phase people were, this year was out of their comfort zone.
Remote work has been a blessing and a curse at the same time. By that we were still able to pursue our work safely, but we also had to learn how to work together digitally. The biggest challenge for remote teams still is to have a good balance in staying connected and working efficiently. If you do not proactively get in contact with your colleagues, you will lose them. If you plan too many inefficient meetings, the work will not get done.
The last months I have interviewed many employees and leaders regarding their experience in working remotely. What I have found is that the most common mistake for remote teams is to spend too less time on creating trustful relationships with each other. Most of the teams only (video) call each other to talk about work related topics. The effect of this is, that many people miss spontaneous chats e.g. at the coffee machine or having lunch together.
Personal contact is still in many regions not possible so that many employers start now to cancel their Christmas parties. On the one hand it is for safety reasons of course better not to plan a face-to-face Christmas party. But on the other hand, in this special time it is more important than ever to acknowledge your employees’ commitment and agility, as well as spending non-work related time together. So what possibilities are left?
There are more and more online offers for virtual Christmas parties. Here are some ideas:
- Virtual baking/cooking night: Providers will send packages with all ingredients to every participant. You meet virtually to bake/ cook together.
- Wine Tasting
Of course, you can organize an event on your own. For example:
- Christmas in a box – Sending a parcel with a menu card and ingredients to everyone to cook a dish together
- Remote secret Santa exchange
- Planning a night with virtual games
- Online Team Escape Room
- Booking a band for an online concert
Depending on your regional restrictions and team size there are also outdoor possibilities:
- Hiking (with some punch)
Even if a virtual Christmas party can not compete with a personal event it is still a new experience and worth the try. By that you will show your acknowledgement to your employees. Also the teamwork and atmosphere will be promoted by the informal meeting.