Any company can rent a Santa outfit, deck the office cubicles with tinsel, set out some punch and say they’re having a Christmas party. But it takes a really special employer to think up ideas like the ones we’ve found. Here are a few of the really awesome things that some companies have done at the holidays to show that they care about their employees.
1. Give actual gifts.
We hate to break it to you, but your employees have enough pens with the corporate logo on them. If you really want to express your appreciation for your employees, give gifts that show that a little thought. Or failing that, give cash. It always fits. Have people unwrap their presents at the party — you know, like it’s a real party.
2. Have holiday karaoke
There is very little on this earth more rewarding than watching your coworkers make fools out of themselves at a karaoke bar. In fact, the only thing we can think of, really, is watching the boss make a fool out of himself at a karaoke bar. This is also potentially lucrative, as you can place bets on who will sing “I Will Survive.” Someone always does.
3. Give awards
OK, fine, it sounds like The Dundies, but if you do awards right, it actually does mean a lot. It’s easy to feel anonymous at the office, and getting an award — even if it’s for Messiest Desk in the office — shows that people actually are paying attention to what you’re doing. (In our case, it was keeping the messiest desk in the office, but so what?)
4. Play coworker trivia.
The toughest part of organizing an office party is getting people to talk to each other. Given their druthers and no good excuse to mix, the accounting department will talk to the accounting department, the sales folks to other sales people, the creatives only to each other and their iPhones, and so on. Coworker trivia is a great way around this. Put together a list of facts about employees and invite everyone to figure out who fits which description. It’ll get people talking to one another and better yet, it’ll make them see their colleagues in a whole new way. (Who knew the head of IT used to model for Abercrombie and Fitch? Or that the CEO has more than a dozen cats?)
5. Pay for the cab ride home.
This is especially important if you’re going to serve alcohol, of course, but it’s a nice idea anyway. Who wants to worry about finding a cab late at night? This is especially useful in places that don’t have a lot of car services. If your company is located outside a city, you can offer the same benefit by organizing rides home for your revelers. It’ll make them think well of the company and prevent festivity-related accidents.