How can you plan your festive season to build team cohesion?

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In companies, the end of the year is usually a special time when managers plan to organise various festive celebrations for their employees. Indeed, it’s a crucial time for encouraging team spirit and unity within the company. So, how can you strengthen group cohesion as the festive season approaches? By organising fun activities like team building! This post gives you 5 ideas to make this period unforgettable.

Different team building activities to celebrate the festive season

Among its many benefits, team building is particularly well known for its ability to improve employee morale and develop skills such as communication and problem-solving. Of course, it’s also a great way to create a strong culture of collaboration. However, it’s not always easy to find fun corporate activities for the festive season. To help you, here are 5 ideas for corporate team building activities you can organise to let all your employees enjoy a bit of festive cheer at the end of the year.

1. A shared dinner

A shared dinner is a fun event where participants bring food to share with everyone. More informal than a restaurant meal, this can be a very rewarding experience, especially if your employees come from different regions. Agree on a theme to make sure everyone has a good time.

Likewise, find out about everyone’s dietary requirements (for health reasons or religious beliefs, for instance). Your employees will be able to enjoy themselves and get to know each other better in an inclusive atmosphere that is conducive to conversation and sharing. Organising a shared dinner goes beyond the simple corporate meal and offers a real opportunity for everyone to bond around a variety of delicious dishes. This can only strengthen cohesion in your company.

2. Small festive events

Sometimes the festive season doesn’t need to be marked by one big event. Instead, consider a series of moments where employees can break the ice in a friendly atmosphere. Plan inexpensive small events that will help build collaboration among staff.

Here are some ideas for fun corporate events:

  • Quizzes based around a particular theme (TV series, music, historical events, etc.);
  • Little games, which encourage informal relationships and teamwork, as employees from all departments can team up (or compete) to win a prize.

3. Volunteering in the community

If you are looking for ideas that will have a real impact on the level of cohesion among your staff, consider a charitable contribution rather than a party in the workplace. Volunteering not only shows that your company cares about others, but it’s also a way to increase staff commitment.

There are several types of volunteering you can do, depending on what you want to accomplish. For example, you could ask your employees to help distribute food as part of a street outreach programme or Christmas gifts to underprivileged children on behalf of a charity, or to give their time to the elderly.

Alternatively, staff could donate their creative and/or professional skills. They could help a non-profit organisation with web development, marketing or budgeting, to name but a few areas.

Another alternative is to organise a collection of material goods among employees. Whether it’s clothing, toys or even school supplies, this kind of initiative combines business with pleasure. Employees do a good deed while strengthening their team spirit. So much can be accomplished by working together.

4. An exchange of gifts

The “white elephant” gift exchange is similar to the famous “Secret Santa”, with a few differences. This team-building activity is guaranteed to entertain and delight employees of all ages and backgrounds. How does it work?

All the gifts are collected and then one person is picked first to choose and open one of the packages. In the subsequent rounds, each member of staff can decide to unwrap a new gift or “steal” the one that the previous person opened. The result is a lot of laughter!

The tradition in this game is that all the gifts should be weird, funny or impractical, but this doesn’t always have to be the case. Employees are free to do as they see fit. You can also choose a theme for these presents. For example, ask employees to bring in a box of their favourite homemade or shop-bought biscuits. This will make the gift-giving more personal and friendly.

5. Christmas jumper day

Christmas jumpers bring a lot of laughs and joy this time of year. So, why not bring this positive energy to work? Take the opportunity to celebrate boldness and uniqueness with a day dedicated to Christmas jumpers.

To capture all the kitschy magic of these jumpers, why not hire a photo booth for the day? Equip it with fun props and strike a pose. During the event, ask your employees to choose the cheesiest and most unattractive jumper to win a prize.

Of course, not everyone will necessarily own these kinds of jumpers. So, on this day, encourage staff to come to work in the most ridiculous outfit possible. As with the jumpers, the person with the worst outfit will then be awarded a prize. These out-of-the-ordinary events make it easier for people to break the ice and start a conversation with each other.

Lauren Warwick