There has never been a more important year to celebrate your team. Hands down, 2020 wins as the year we really need to remind our staff, “You guys rock. Thank you for every amazing effort you have made during this crazy year.” This year won’t find you celebrating with colleagues at the newest downtown hotspot (that’s your cue to book your December 2021 venues now and thank us later).
There are still many ways to celebrate your team, and some of these are arguably more meaningful (and budget friendly) than asking your team to spend the evening mingling over a buffet while you try to hear each other over a DJ blasting Beyonce.
Here are some celebration ideas to get you started:
The “Awards Show” Celebration
This is your chance to publicly celebrate what every member of your team contributes. Choose both a serious and funny award for each person (e.g. Tom receives: “Team member most likely to keep us optimistic during challenging times.” and “Team member most likely to finish the donuts left out in the lunch room.”) and if you can pull it off, have small trophies or awards personalized in advance and shipped to their respective homes. Send these with strict instructions to not open the boxes until your Team Academy Awards, when they will open them on video. This team celebration will unquestionably bring a lot of laughs as well as appreciation that their unique contributions to the team are noticed.
The “Hybrid” Celebration
Tell them that in lieu of a night out with the team, you want them to have a “night in” for themselves. You could send over a bottle of something bubbly, kick off the evening with a fun 30-minute mini team celebration, and then let everyone sign-off to enjoy a nice dinner purchased with the gift cards you sent in advance. And make sure they know the rules—no checking company emails until the next morning!
The “Make it Personal” Celebration
If your budget allows, and if you know your team members well enough, send them each a gift that communicates that you know a little more about them than just what they do as professionals. Imagine the delight when the team coffee aficionado receives a pound of exotic coffee or when the team chef receives the newest cookbook topping the New York Times bestseller list.
The “Surprise” Celebration
Surprise them with a fun food delivery—a stack of pizzas for them to share with their family or roommates, or Sunday morning coffee and bagels. Or, just send them a DoorDash or UberEats giftcard and then let them choose! Get creative and have some fun!
The “We Build Together” Celebration
There’s nothing that says “we are team that builds together” more than actually building gingerbread houses simultaneously. Send gingerbread house kits to your team in advance, designate a time to set up laptops in the kitchen, and let the collective building and decorating begin! This will undoubtedly bring a lot of laughs while also providing you with a great opportunity to share your appreciation for the team relationships and accomplishments built together.
The “Let’s Hang Together” Celebration
Choose a fun movie or sporting event to watch simultaneously, but be sure to send over some fun movie theatre treats or game day snacks! Or, have a themed group hang out – is your Winter conference usually held in Vegas? Create your own virtual casino night for your team!
The “One-Minute Video” Celebration
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate your team, also consider recording a one-minute video where you personally share something specific that you have learned from them, how they each add immeasurably to the team, and why you are so lucky to have them as colleagues. Because at the end-of-the-day, the very best celebrations include a heartfelt thank you.
However you choose to celebrate your team this holiday season, the most important part is to give them thanks, acknowledge the hard work and remind your team that while times are challenging, it’s truly important to pause and step back to celebrate all that you have accomplished together.