Why a workplace Christmas should be celebrated this year

| December 10, 2021

In a year that’s lacked any sparkle, it’s important businesses don’t close their doors for the year without some Christmas cheer and tinsel, according to Maureen Kyne.

Maureen Kyne from Maureen Kyne & Assoc says boosting morale this Christmas should be a priority and those companies that don’t provide some festive cheer risk destroying their company’s culture.

She reminds businesses that Christmas is a time for generosity, not Grinches and after two years of dealing with COVID restrictions and lockdowns, it’s important the annual tradition of Christmas is celebrated and staff are acknowledged and not ignored.

“The only way to fail at Christmas is by failing to celebrate it, so it’s important companies show their generosity of spirit, particularly after the year many have endured.”

“Obviously, a big office party held indoors with no consideration given to COVID-19 isn’t a good idea. It’s up to business to come up with innovative solutions to make sure Christmas is celebrated – but responsibly.’

Ms Kyne’s tips to ensure companies celebrate Christmas with their staff include:

  • Encourage festive behaviour: Whilst businessesneed to be sensitive to the current environment around COVID, that shouldn’t mean an absence of festive décor. Whether working from home or in the office, encourage a festive mood by putting up a tree or decorating your desk with tinsel and sprinkling decorations around the office.
  • Host virtual parties:Workers have been video conferencing for two years so an online Christmas celebration won’t be unusual. It’s important to acknowledge the year with some sort of celebration, whether that be a virtual breakfast, Secret Santa or gift voucher exchange. It’s a simple way for saying thank you to your team. Bosses, leaders and managers should jump online with their teams and wish them a Merry Christmas or happy holiday season.
  • Employee Christmas packages: Nothing creates a sense of belonging at Christmas more than a gift from your company. Personalised gifts and a thank you card from your boss is exactly what employees need after navigating the pandemic. It will also make employees feel they belong to a positive and authentic workplace culture. 
  • Use the month to say thank you: Employee recognition does wonders for productivity and wellbeing and Christmas is a good time to create positive employee morale. Companies and their bosses need to make the time to have a presence in December and the month should be used to engage with staff, announce employee achievements and send positive messages.
  • Host small scale events: With vaccination rates high, there is no reason why intimate lunches and dinners can’t be held and larger numbers catered for outside. To cater for the hybrid office, provide Christmas lunch or breakfast for small teams working in the office and rotate these smaller gatherings so they are accessible and inclusive to those working from home. Whether indoor or outdoor, COVID protocols must be followed. If the Christmas party is about saying thank you, these gatherings definitely bring staff together for a meaningful thank you.

Ms Kyne said the pandemic had also prompted companies to rethink the purpose of the work Christmas party.

“From an HR perspective Christmas parties are about saying thank you to employees, bringing staff together and building camaraderie.”

“Our work culture has evolved; many people are enjoying WFH so perhaps there are alternative ways to say thank you. I think there’s been a shift and it’s also about creating an environment where your employees feel cared for, work life balance is respected and a culture of wellbeing prevails.”


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