It seems like a lot of us are in a better mood around the holidays: Strangers might talk to us more, also, friends, family and even people we don’t know very well, might reach out to spend time together. Some will perhaps simply open a door for us or give us the space we need to switch lanes in traffic. So, at this time of year, when kindness is in the air, it’s the perfect time for organizations to plan experiences that boost engagement.
There’s also another reason to plan fun experiences for your staff: They’ll remember it. According to an article in Psychology Today magazine called, Stop Giving People More Stuff This Holiday—Do This Instead, by Emma Seppälä, Ph.D., “Research shows that we prefer experiences over things. People remember shared moments and experiences: whether it was a canoe trip, hiking, a musical or a visit to a museum. We remember what we did.”
So here are a few ways to make engagement a memorable experience in your workplace:
- Get festive: Get employees together to set up decorations in workspaces and maybe compete for the funniest, most colourful or most festive ideas
- Give one of the greatest gifts: Send a thank you card to each of your employees showing your appreciation by noting a few of the great things they’ve done this past year
- Make a list and check it twice: Tell all of your employees about the organization’s successes this past year
- Announce next year’s goals: Meet with your teams to share plans for next year so they can get excited and feel a sense of purpose and direction for the year ahead
- Share some laughs and get to know each other: Bring board games, playing cards, trivia, or conversation starter games to a group lunch with your team
- Offer the gift of relaxation, pampering and a few laughs from co-workers with paramedical services at work: Google offers paramedical services, like massage therapy to their team members while they’re at work.
- Plan an activity out of the office together, like bowling for example
- Give gift certificates for coffees, treats or lunches.
Many different experiences like these during the holiday season can help employees to feel valued and seen. They can get co-workers laughing and best of all, they can help people to feel more comfortable with their organization and the people in it, which is invaluable.
According to a Harvard Business Review article called, Having Work Friends Can Be Tricky – But It’s Worth it, by Emma Seppala and Marissa King, and based on Gallup research, “It’s hard to build real connections with your colleagues if you never get beyond superficial chit-chat. And yet people who have a “best friend at work” are not only more likely to be happier and healthier, they are also seven times as likely to be engaged in their job. What’s more, employees who report having friends at work have higher levels of productivity, retention, and job satisfaction than those who don’t.”
So, when the holiday spirit is in the air, it’s a great time to make the effort to engage: Not just for your employees’ benefits but for your organization too!