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Fill the Workplace with Cheer at the End of the Year

The trees are bare, a chilly breeze blows through the air, and bright lights deck the halls. The holiday season is here and in full swing. Whether or not your company plans to host a virtual soiree or an in-person party, you and your team can still celebrate this season with joy and cheer.

Make spirits bright by recognizing hard work, expressing appreciation, and infusing some fun into your interactions. This will boost morale and engagement so your team can end the year on a high note and maintain that positive energy going into the new year. Consider carving out time to:

1. Gather in-person with intention.

Remote, hybrid, and in-person teams all benefit from setting aside dedicated time to connect beyond ordinary day-to-day interactions. You could try planning a lunch, happy hour, or team retreat in addition to (or in lieu of) hosting a traditional holiday party. These kinds of gatherings provide people with an opportunity to foster more genuine connections with their bosses and colleagues.

Engaging in non-work-related conversations strengthens the bonds between team members as they learn about each other’s interests, hobbies, or loved ones. You might even find your next work friend by leaning into asking your coworkers some personal questions. At the very least, you’ll add depth to your work relationships which benefits you and your organization as you gain social support in the workplace.

2. Reflect and set goals as a team.

After you conduct some reflection and goal setting of your own, come together as a team to look back on the past year together and decide what you want to accomplish in the coming one. Ask leadership about larger organizational goals that would be worth knowing as you go through the goal setting process.

Making this a collaborative effort helps each team member understand how their work plays an essential role in the greater shared vision. Knowing that value can increase motivation and commitment as people feel more connected to the shared goals. Engaging in team goal setting also taps into a diverse range of perspectives which can lead to greater innovation and ideas.

3. Practice shameless self-promotion.

Encourage your team to make a list of their strengths, achievements, and skills. Once people understand their value, it’s time to start sharing your successes with others. Build some time into your next meeting or retreat for individuals to share their top three accomplishments from the year. The more your team practices articulating their value, the more comfortable and confident they will become with effectively communicating their outstanding work.

Keep in mind that self-promotion isn’t arrogant or bragging (when done authentically.) Eliminate the common fears of this essential skill by prompting individuals to share successes from their work every so often. Emphasize the importance of acknowledging the contributions of the other key players who played a role in the success as well. Learning to strike the balance between using “I” statements to own your accomplishments fully and giving credit to others will make self-promotion sound more authentic.

4. Celebrate successes and achievements.

What better way to lift spirits than celebrating individual and team successes? While you should certainly recognize accomplishments on a regular basis, the holiday season marks a perfect time to plan an extra special celebration. Together you could decide if you want to attend a creative class (cooking, mixology, candle making) or exchange gifts with each other. When in doubt, you can always ask your team members how they would like to be celebrated.

Deliberately celebrating achievements serves as a wonderful opportunity boost morale and reinforce a positive work culture. People who feel appreciated in their role experience higher job satisfaction and intrinsic motivation which leads to more success in the future.

5. Exchange words or tokens of gratitude.

Cultivate a culture of appreciation in your organization by encouraging people to express thanks frequently. Consider writing a thank you note or email to your boss and coworkers that goes beyond a simple “thank you.” Think about that person’s strengths, what you admire about them, or how their actions positively impacted your workplace. The more specific you can be the better. You could also show appreciation by performing a random act of kindness or offering a helping hand on a project.

Start small and then build up from there. Thank people as soon as possible after the action that created a positive impact. This helps get everyone in the habit of expressing gratitude on a regular basis. Practicing gratitude at work improves overall wellbeing, reduces stress, builds resilience, and even increases patience. The more often you can incorporate it the better.

There are myriad ways to infuse the holiday spirit into your workplace this season. Focusing on creating a positive workplace culture filled with collaboration, celebration, and camaraderie will help extend the holiday cheer beyond the office. We wish you a festive season that brings professional success, personal fulfillment, and joy to all!

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