7 Ways to Establish a New Holiday Tradition in the Workplace
“Traditions touch us, they connect us, and they expand us.” -Rita Barreto Craig
Traditions are important. They contribute to a sense of comfort and belonging and they help to reinforce values.
You may already know that traditions matter in your personal life but what a lot of companies do not realize is that they also matter in business.
When we think of traditions, we may think of the fun holiday traditions that we have established with friends and family – the traditions that we know we will continue to do in the years to come. In business, establishing traditions (even when they are small) can also be fun and have great benefits.
In the workplace, traditions bring us closer together. They make us feel like part of a team and help us build stronger connections with our coworkers and leaders. Participating in team traditions allows us to feel a sense of belonging which increases motivation and loyalty in the workplace. They also give us something to look forward to – something fun and different that only takes place on a certain occasion. While a tradition can be started at any time of the year and can basically revolve around any occasion, there is something extra special about bonding during the holiday season that can create a lasting and impactful memory.
This year, as you consider starting a new tradition with your team, here are a few different ideas to get you started:
- Host a holiday gathering for your staff. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a big holiday party; you can also all go out to eat at a restaurant to celebrate.
- Have a holiday gift exchange or have everyone bring a small gift and play a white elephant game.
- Allow your team to dress up one day to the same theme. Everyone can wear ugly sweaters. If you want something more subtle, you can each wear something small such as a holiday pin.
- Have a fun outing! You can visit the same location each year like an amusement park together, or even try a new activity together every year.
- Decorate the workplace. One option is to plan a day when everyone can decorate together. Another option is to set up a small tree and everyone can bring 1 ornament from home to decorate it with. Make it a competition if your team enjoys a healthy competition. Door decorating contest, anyone?
- Hand out holiday cards to your team or give out gifts. Keep it easy and consistent. A team enjoys the tradition and reliability of receiving the same gift each year. Maybe not a fruitcake, but the anticipated bottle of wine, lotion, or wreath brings a sense of comfort and tradition.
- Have an office potluck where everyone can bring their favorite holiday dish.
The great thing about traditions is that they can begin at any time and they can develop as time goes on. The most important thing is to be consistent and follow through on the traditions that you have established for your business. Traditions play a huge part in a company’s culture and should align with your company’s core values.