As this year comes to a close, we must remember to recognize our employees and the hard work they have contributed. This appreciation is essential for remote teams to promote employee engagement and motivation. The yearly holiday party is the perfect occasion to celebrate our employees. By hosting a virtual office get together, we can keep our employees safe while also commending team members on their achievements. Here are a few virtual holiday party ideas perfect for employee recognition:
Home Office Decorating Competition
In the weeks leading up to the holidays, encourage your employees to decorate their home offices. To take this activity one step further, supply team members with themes such as “Candy Cane Stripes,” “Cosy for the Holidays,” or “Christmas Lights.” Ask members to send in pictures of their decorated set-ups and hold a vote for the best in each class as well as the overall winner. You can even turn this competition into an advent calendar by sharing pictures on a business social media account or company-wide email list. In the days leading up to the holidays, post each team member’s decorated home office and a thoughtful appreciation message. This event will motivate your teams with encouraging words and give each employee a chance to be in the spotlight.
Virtual Gingerbread Wars
This activity involves cookie decorating kits, creativity, and icing skills! Coordinate with a local bakery or send individual cookie kits to employees before the holiday party. With all team members equipped with their icing bags and blank cookie canvases, hold a variety of decorating challenges. Ask employees to decorate self-portrait cookies or even make gingerbread men that look like coworkers or the boss! This activity is a sweet, lighthearted event that all members are sure to enjoy.
Christmas Time in the City
Many virtual teams are spread around large cities, states, or even countries. Through this activity, take advantage of your team’s geographic diversity and highlight different holiday traditions. Encourage team members to provide pictures of one or two city-specific activities that they usually attend. Team leaders can create a slideshow displaying each location and ask their peers to describe their favorite events during the holiday party. This event is a great way to illuminate your team’s diversity and recognize employees from unique cultures and backgrounds.
Funny End of the Year Awards
This light-hearted event recognizes dedicated employees while also incorporating holiday cheer and fun memories. Team leaders can put together a list of exceptional employees and come up with creative awards. A few I have found include the Duct Tape Award for employees who always fix difficult situations or the Mission Impossible Award for team members who always get the job done, even when it seems impossible. For more examples, check out this TalentLyft article. Mail the chosen employees a small gift box with a funny certificate and little treats like hot chocolate mix, a mug, or gift cards for online subscriptions. This activity is a great way to celebrate your hardest workers and show your teams that we appreciate them.
To keep our remote teams going strong into 2021, we must recognize all of their hard work! By incorporating these activities into our yearly celebrations, we can combine the fun of the holidays with the joys of being rewarded for our commitment to the organization. These engaging events will motivate, encourage, and uplift our employees to finish off the year strong and return even more dedication in the future.
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Dima Ghawi is the founder of a global talent development company with a primary mission for advancing individuals in leadership. Through keynote speeches, training programs and executive coaching, Dima has empowered thousands of professionals across the globe to expand their leadership potential. In addition, she provides guidance to business executives to develop diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies and to implement a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within the organization.