7 Tips for Building Community During the Holidays

Posted in Thoughts & Culture

Regardless of where you do your work and whether you’re fully remote or taking advantage of a hybrid schedule, the holidays are the perfect opportunity to harness the season of giving to foster community within your company.

It’s easier to find ways to give back to the local community near your headquarters or office locations. How can you foster that same giving spirit with a remote or hybrid team? Here are a handful of ideas to build connections this holiday season.

1) Encourage Volunteer Opportunties

food donation

Charitable giving doesn’t just mean donating money. Spending your time volunteering as a group is a great way to bond with your team and build a strong culture of community within your organization.

If you’ve got multiple office locations and hybrid workers, brainstorm ideas that anyone can do from their respective areas. This could mean finding local soup kitchens to volunteer at, working with an animal shelter to socialize the pets waiting to be adopted, or even something as simple as donating gently used clothing to shelters.

Volunteering in each region you operate in might mean that regional groups volunteer a bit differently, too. If you can give your team a few hours off for local volunteer opportunities in their areas, go for it! Be sure to collect photos from each volunteering event and share them to highlight the impact you’ve made in your local communities.

2) Share Traditions

Most businesses experience a bit of a lull during the holiday seasons. Emails slow down and many people take time away from work. It’s the perfect time to connect with your teams to learn more about their families and traditions!

Even if your team celebrates the same holidays, it’s unlikely that they all celebrate them in exactly the same way. Highlight your team’s unique traditions within their own families and how you like to celebrate as a team within your company. You can ask them to share photos, recipes, and stories that will inspire deeper conversations and connections within your organization. Taking advantage of solutions like Enboarder can help facilitate this culture sharing with nudges and reminders that build memorable moments and organizational affinity.

3) Host Celebrations

holiday party

If you’re already planning on hosting a holiday party for your team, you can skip this one. If not, make sure you set aside some time to celebrate the end of the calendar year with your team. Your holiday party can be as simple as finding an hour during the workday that works for your team to share how they’ll be spending their holidays and reflecting on the past year.

Keep in mind, you don’t need to have a big budget to spend time together thoughtfully.

4) Cultivate a Culture of Appreciation

thank you card

Lavish holiday parties with big budgets won’t necessarily create community within your company. Many companies have tightened their budgets due to economic uncertainty, but you can still recognize employees and celebrate their accomplishments together.

Consider giving public recognition to your team during holiday parties (virtual or in-person!) or in company newsletters, offer them additional vacation days or flexible work hours, and even gift cards to use during the holiday break. If you’re not sure how to get started, utilize software like Enboarder to nudge your people and culture leaders with helpful reminders and inspiration to make sure the appreciation is flowing across teams and departments.

Whether you announce your appreciation publicly or send a thoughtful note to your teammates telling them how much you appreciate them, it will make your connections stronger.

5) Connect on a Cadence

Connecting regularly as a team will help them build connections with you and with each other – creating a strong sense of community. Avoid the plague of loneliness by ensuring your team knows how and when you connect.

Of course, hosting impromptu meetings and chats can also foster community! But ensure that no one works in a silo by giving them regular opportunities to connect both during and beyond the holiday season.

6) Find Out What Your Team Thinks

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The best way to get good engagement in your activities is to get a group involved in planning them! The more dynamic your group, the more dynamic your community and turnout for your events will be.

Not every event needs to be company sponsored, either. Don’t discourage the team from coming up with ideas and activities that can take place away from the office and their daily routine, too.

If an initial idea doesn’t make the cut for this season, don’t delete it. For example, a volunteer opportunity might not work because it’s not the right weather in the winter, so keep it in a list to use for the summer.

7) Prioritize Community Year Round

It’s inauthentic to host events to build community within your organization only during the holidays. Rather than making it your focus for a few months, prioritize these same initiatives throughout the year! The holiday season is a good opportunity to reboot your efforts to create a strong company culture and sense of community. But if you’re going to go back to business-as-usual in the new year, your employees will take note.

Find ways to continue the culture and connections they’ve made throughout the year by continuing the activities you’ve focused on now. Whether you’re volunteering together or giving heartfelt thank yous to the team in company meetings, none of that has to stop when the clock strikes midnight on 31 December.

Using software like Enboarder can help facilitate building community within your organization. Ready to learn more about how we can help build better connections? Get started here.