Is Your Office Sucking the Life Out of the Holidays?

Stop Sucking the Life Out the Holidays Yoh BlogThe holiday season is chock-filled with a number of social gatherings from the office holiday party to luncheons and family functions. Depending on how your office handles the influx of holiday-themed activites, is sure to impact your employee's perception of your organization (and whether they'll plan to stick around for another year!). 

It is not uncommon for companies to use the holiday season as a tool to lift employee engagement. Human Resources, hiring managers and even small business owners share the notion that by doing something good for their employees, their employees will reciprocate. In fact, it is reported that companies with high engagement rates can see a 20% or more boost to productivity and profitability.

But a recent Huffington Post Infographic indicates some pretty disturbing facts about employee engagement; thirteen of them actually. The good news. National and global corporations are spending a significant amount of time and capital on employee engagement strategies. The bad news: it is not translating. 


Photo courtesy of the Huffingpost 

In short, only 30% of American workers and 13% of global workers report being engaged in their jobs according to a Primer on Measuring Employee Engagement. Even with the number of paid technologies to jolt engagement, such as Yammer or Jostle Me, or even free employee engagement tools and online surveys, lack of resources isn't to blame for these lackluster efforts.



This got us thinking; what matters to Yoh's employees this holiday season? So we did something crazy -- we asked them. After surveying a few employees at our corporate office, we came up with the following ideas.

While we aren't advocating that you implement these programs or small-scale approach at your organization, the foundation of the idea is rather simple to execute. If you ask, the answers will come. 


Create a Competition to Benefit a Charity 

What better way to bolster employee interaction than by creating an inspiring holiday-themed competition. Everyone can have a say in each aspect of the competition. From picking teams to the charity that is ultimately selected, all of it can be done diplomatically by randomly drawing ideas submitted by program participants. Best of all, the real winner is the non-profit that receives the tremendous donation from you organization. 

Here is a list of nonprofits groups categorized by interest and cause.

Photo courtesy of the Connected Cause


Holiday Decorating Contest 

The cubicle doesn't have the best reputation, and with time, perhaps this type of office design will become a nostalgic pastime. Until then, why not embrace the cube with a holiday decorating contest. Besides visually delivering on holiday cheer, it creates great social media content for your brand. 

We even found a rule book to help guide your efforts.


Start a Breakfast Club 

Not only is it the most important meal of the day, but during a season filled with numerous post-work events, is can be the only time of the day to grab your employee's attention. Start a breakfast pot luck centered on a single idea or initiative; perhaps a healthy eater’s potluck or a get to know your neighbor pot luck. Not only does it encourage interaction between various employees and departments, but managers get the bonus of knowing employees are arriving for work on time. 

Impromptu Ugly Sweater Party

Everyone owns one, so be the person at the office who owns the ugly sweater party. This is especially a great idea for companies with a limited budget. A causal in-office ugly sweater party is a great way to break down barriers between upper management and the organization. Besides, who doesn't like non-alcoholic eggnog?

Think Outside of the Box

We get it. Depending on the size of your organization, it is extremely difficult to host a singular event that will please everyone in the office. Knowing this to be true, pick an activity that is uncommon or takes people outside of their comfort zone. Karaoke, bowling, or donating time at a soup kitchen are all great examples of taking an untraditional approach to a very traditional event. 

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