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It is finally that time of the year for which everyone waits all year long. To shop for gifts for loved ones, decorate a giant tree with trinkets and ornaments, bake yummy bread, cakes, and cookies, and host parties.

Yes, Christmas is right around the corner, the beautiful festival of joy, happiness, sharing, and giving.

But what about Christmas at work?

This is also when employees look forward to taking a break from corporate life and enjoying their mandatory holidays away from the office.

However, you can leverage the occasion to boost employee engagement by organizing employee engagement activities.

Running short of ideas? No worries!

We have come up with 12 interesting Christmas employee engagement ideas to save the day.

12 Best Christmas employee engagement ideas and activities

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and while the holiday spirit is alive, utilize this time to build strong relationships with your employees and coworkers. Here are 12 Christmas employee engagement ideas for your office celebrations:

1. Host an award ceremony to show gratitude

Awards are a wonderful way to boost employees’ morale, show gratitude for their hard work, and spread holiday cheer because it's the season of giving.

The award ceremony doesn't have to be an extravagant event. It can be an intimate gathering of your team with some delicious treats and beverages. All you have to do is ensure that everyone feels special and included.

You can award them with titles not based on their professional skills but related to their unique personality traits that everyone admires. To make the event more interesting and engaging, you may also solicit votes for titles like the team's funniest guy/gal and perform karaoke.

2. Create a more flexible work environment

The stress during the holiday season is real. Employees often feel drowned under pressure as they struggle to strike a balance between managing work under strict deadlines and spending quality time with their families.

Therefore, you must consider your employees' situations and create a more flexible work environment.

You can gather their feedback about their challenges in the current work environment and how to overcome them. This will improve employee engagement and help build trust among your employees. You can also allow them to work remotely or in a hybrid model.

Additionally, let employees take a leave for the Christmas holiday if they achieve their target early.

This will be rewarding for the company during months requiring a little energy and productivity. It will remind employees that they are valued and must show accountability and perform dedicatedly for the company.

Incorporating these practical ideas will promote employee engagement and motivation in the office without dampening the festive mood.

3. Celebrate the season of giving with secret santa

As employees are in a festive mood, the holiday season frequently results in lower productivity and unavailability. However, there’s a tradition that all age groups appreciate and would help increase employee engagement in your organization: Secret Santa!

Secret Santa is a fantastic way to bring together all your employees from various teams while ensuring everyone receives something special for Christmas. It is one of the best Christmas employee engagement ideas and is quite a loved holiday tradition as it brings out the holiday spirit in everyone.

Write the names of all participants on individual cards and make everyone choose one. The card they choose is who they are Secret Santas for, and they buy them a thoughtful and personalized gift.

4. Go on an outing

Another of the best Christmas employee engagement ideas is to take the entire team and go for an outing. It's a great way to break away from the corporate environment and bond with your coworkers on a personal level.

For an outing, you can choose one of the following options:

  • Go to watch a sappy Christmas movie
  • Attend a tree-lighting ceremony
  • Plan an afternoon picnic
  • Participate in community work
  • Join a one-day interactive baking class
  • Visit an outdoor ice-skating rink

These are just a few Christmas outing ideas that you can go for. You can also do all of these activities by planning a two-day outing.

5. Recognize their hard work all year round

Consider recording a video message if you want to take things a notch up in terms of expressing gratitude. Ask the company's CEO or team leaders to make a video in which they wish all employees a merry Christmas.

The video should also express gratitude for everyone's commitment to the organization and recognize their efforts throughout the year. Make sure to tailor employee emails by using their first names in both the email's subject line and message.

This reminds another way to show appreciation for employees is to give them handmade, personalized Christmas cards with sweet messages. In large organizations where employees could feel underappreciated by their seniors, this might make a significant difference.

6. Parties and potlucks are a must

No matter the festival or occasion, delicious meals are the major binding agent that brings everyone together. This is why you can host Christmas office parties and potlucks to increase employee engagement for teams.

To make the event more interesting, give it a twist of Secret Santa. Write the names of festive dishes on individual chits, and make all participants pick one. That way, everyone can bring one unique item for the entire team.

Potlucks are best if it is a team party; however, if it involves all office staff, it would be best if you book a spacious hall and arrange for caterers.

7. Send a personalized Christmas gift

If you wish to show gratitude to your employees this Christmas in a special way, consider giving them personalized gifts. This will not only boost your employees’ morale but also strengthen your relationship with them.

You can get them a gift basket filled with assorted, festive, meaningful items. Some items you can include in your Christmas gift hamper are:

  • Gourmet chocolates
  • Aromatic coffee
  • Scented candles
  • Bottle of wine
  • Skin-care products
  • Year-planning notebook and pen
  • Tasty treats

If you can set aside some time and dedicate a little more effort to this activity, conduct a survey, find out your team members' likes and dislikes, and prepare their gifts accordingly.

8. No one is too old for some Christmas games

Another one of the best employee engagement activities for Christmas that can get everyone in the holiday spirit and help increase employee engagement is to play Christmas-themed games.

Playing games will surely improve the bond among your employees and bring out the party mood. You can play games such as:

  • Building Christmas trees with books and files
  • Baking Christmas-themed cookies
  • Decorating gingerbreads
  • Building a snowman
  • Wrapping gifts
  • Creating Christmas-themed origami
  • Christmas charades

You get the idea, don't you?

Also, you can prepare low-budget but meaningful gifts for winning teams and consolation gifts for the rest.

9. Hold a gift exchange

Similar to playing Secret Santa, you can also organize a gift exchange event among your teammates where participants can choose who they want to exchange gifts with.

Employees can choose to buy the gift or hand-make it within a limited budget and ensure that it is meaningful and personalized.

10. Collect donations for the underprivileged

Christmas is a great time to do charity work and give back to the world. We spend a great deal of time and money buying gifts for our family members, friends, and colleagues. Along with that, we can definitely make a little room for the underprivileged.

You can collect donations and give them to an NGO that works for human or animal welfare. On the other hand, you can take the initiative to buy food and other necessary items for homeless people.

You can also visit an orphanage, sponsor a Christmas party for the kids there, and get them toys. One of your colleagues can also volunteer to dress up as Santa and make the party even more special.

11. Incorporate gingerbread houses into the office culture

The gingerbread house decoration challenge is one of the most fun and creative Christmas games to play with your siblings or friends. So this Christmas, don't forget to include this game in your list of "Christmas games to play at the office."

Divide employees into smaller teams and give them allowances to buy all the items needed to build the gingerbread houses and decorate them.

Allot each team a table to craft their gingerbread houses and once they are ready, start the game. Give them 10-15 mins to create their designs, and once the time's up, ask the chosen judges to pick the winner.

12. Gather employee feedback

A critical step before finalizing all your employee engagement activities for Christmas is to gather employee feedback. This will help you better understand their likes, dislikes, and comfort zones, and you can plan the Christmas celebratory events more effectively.

To gather employee feedback in a streamlined and automated manner, use Empuls' employee survey tool. This will let you gather actionable insights in real-time and allow for anonymous surveys, prioritizing everyone's privacy.

Final words

We hope that these 12 Christmas employee engagement ideas will make it easier for you to organize your holiday gatherings.

As we know, employees will attend countless corporate parties over the course of their careers. Therefore, give fresh spins to your regular Christmas party ideas and make those events more memorable.

This will keep up employees' spirit long after Christmas ends and they are back in the office after rejuvenating themselves during the holidays.

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Karishma Bhatnagar

Karishma Bhatnagar LinkedIn

Karishma is a passionate blogger who comes with a deep understanding of SEO tactics. When she isn’t working, you’ll find her in the mountains, experiencing the fresh breeze & chirping sounds of birds.