Spreading seasonal cheer without breaking the bank doesn’t have to be difficult. In most instances, personal recognition, simple gifts and sincere thanks for a year of hard work are always in vogue. It’s also a good idea to recognize that perhaps not all employees celebrate Christmas and to try to keep the celebrations seasonal in nature where appropriate. Here are a few simple ideas to consider:
- Host an employee family holiday party at work if you have the space for tables and chairs or at a local venue (late afternoon) if you don’t. The fare can be as simple as pizza and ice cream with small gifts for the kids. It doesn’t have to be lavish. The point is to recognize that the extra effort employees make often takes time away from their families (and to say so during the event).
- Create some merriment and light heartedness at work with a series of special events during the last week before Christmas. For example, there’s the Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, a Chocolate Santa Hunt, Secret Santa, Christmas Luncheon Treat (bosses buy catered lunch for staff) or a Christmas Ornament Decorating Contest.
- If you don’t have a large workforce. Provide every employee with a small personalized gift. For example, the coffee addict gets a Starbucks gift card and a new mug, the working mother gets a voucher for a massage, the chocaholic receives a box of really fine chocolate, the accomplished baker gets a new cookbook, the wine connoisseur a bottle of wine. If you are stuck for ideas, ask a colleague where the employee likes to go for lunch and buy a gift card for that restaurant.
- Organize delivery of special treats to the office. Whether it is gingerbread men or freshly baked Christmas cookies, little surprises like this are great morale boosters. Gather everyone around who can take a break and use this impromptu occasion to thank employees for all they’ve done throughout the year.
- If you have a bricks and mortar business, decorate your windows for the holidays with winter scenes. Perhaps you can encourage employees with artistic talents to develop designs and do the honors.
- If your budget allows, consider taking your employees and their significant others to a Christmas concert as guests of the company. Provide the tickets in a card that thanks the employees for all their hard work during the past year. The event might be an evening of Christmas music, a production of A Christmas Carol or a carol service. Many people enjoy hearing the old familiar favorites at Christmastime.
- To spread festive cheer throughout the workplace, you might consider giving everyone a decorative bag containing a seasonal card with your thanks and a small decoration they can put on their desk. Inexpensive light-up ornaments or battery-powered candles that imitate flickering candlelight can transform the office and be taken home as mementos.
All the above ideas are fairly inexpensive and simple to implement. They all demonstrate that you have put some thought into the gesture, which is perhaps the best gift of all.