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Team-Building: Activities For The Holiday Season
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Team-Building: Activities For The Holiday Season- Executive Leadership Articles

Team-Building: Activities For The Holiday Season

Executive Leadership Articles

Team-Building: Activities For The Holiday Season

The holiday season is a great time for team-building, with its emphasis on goodwill, giving, and getting along. It’s a festive time of year with built-in traditions, and almost everyone expects some kind of seasonal celebration at the workplace, whether it’s a catered, open-bar blowout at a banquet hall, a lunchtime potluck and gift exchange in the conference room, or a year-end bonus with accompanying letter of appreciation from the boss. However you tap into the good vibes of the last couple of months of the year, here are a few things to consider.

  • Remember: ‘tis the season for giving. We have stated many times that true team-building comes from doing meaningful work together, but meaningful work can reach beyond the familiar domains of the usual projects. Find a deserving charity that can use some help, and get your team involved (on the company’s dime, if possible).
  • Team-building and parties are not the same thing, although one can serve as the other. While true team-building comes from doing meaningful work together, it can also come from meaningful play. If your aim is team-building by way of a party, plan it with this in mind. This doesn’t necessarily mean forced participation and group sing-alongs, which can have opposite the desired effect, but it does mean making things inclusive, and heading off divisive issues before they pop up.
  • Be careful with alcohol. Many people don’t consider it a real holiday get-together if alcohol isn’t involved, and the firm that picks up the tab for everyone in the company can be seen as something just short of heroic. There’s certainly nothing wrong with overindulging at special times of the year, but if you put your people in a position where they might reasonably be expected to say or do things they normally wouldn’t, take responsibility and don’t hold it against them if a few social mistakes are made. This isn’t a plea for no accountability; consider it instead a reminder that alcohol comes with all kinds of good and bad. Be willing to tolerate some of the bad, as long as everyone stays on the appropriate side of the law. Related: alcohol and open microphones do not go together.
  • Team-building is about engaging, affirming, and edifying. Before festivities begin, have everyone agree to a no-humiliation policy. There’s nothing wrong with a few photos and videos, especially since your social media team will want to stock up on future Throwback Thursday material, but agree with participants not to share anything with outsiders unless the involved people grant permission.
  • As always, allow for passive participation. If you have a secret Santa activity, make it an opt-in situation. Other seemingly harmless projects, such as cubicle decoration or anything involving a performance, can create stress for some of your team members, and the last thing you want out of holiday team-building is to add holiday stress to your valued people.

Most of us can recall that some of our best team-building moments came during some kind of holiday activity. Yet many of us can also recall horrifying moments that today are only whispered about by the old-timers as reminders of caution. It’s can be a tricky line to walk, but if the benefits are more likely than the pitfalls, plan for the pitfalls, and stoke the little flames of benefit to carry the good feeling well into the new year.

 

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Team-Building: Activities For The Holiday Season- Executive Leadership Articles

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