A joyful gathering at the office or a nice dinner at a local restaurant make for fine holiday parties, but why not take advantage of the festive occasion to do something a little different this year? Here are three alternative ways to celebrate the season that could bring your staff — and perhaps your community — closer together.Host a group activity. Rather than eating and drinking, why not attend or participate in an event that’s appropriate for the size and makeup of your staff? You might score tickets to a sold-out show or sporting event, take employees ice-skating, or organize a scavenger hunt (for prizes such as an extra day off) . The key is to plan an event that everyone can participate in and enjoy, so remember to keep it appropriate for all ages, genders, and physical abilities.Get a little extravagant. If you’ve been more fortunate than most small businesses during the downturn, share the wealth. Splurge a little on your employees by taking them on a wine-tasting tour, sponsoring a group cooking class, or spending the weekend at a spa or a dude ranch. Just make sure that the activities caters to all employees’ interests — and is full of surprises and fun.Give back to the community. Instead of spending the company-s hard-earned money on more frivolous things, consider taking a day to help others in your area who are less fortunate. You and your staff could volunteer at local soup kitchen or food bank (you could even host a food drive at the office) or wrap inexpensive gifts (essentials like toothbrushes, hand lotion, socks, etc.) for residents of a local nursing home. In other words, spend your “celebration” time celebrating the true meaning of the season. You and your employees will likely get more out of the experience than you would at a typical office party.
How does your small business plan to commemorate the holidays this season? Share your thoughts and suggestions with us in the Comments field below.Suzanne has been a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. She’s written for numerous business and financial publications, such as Entrepreneur, Reason, and Home Business Magazine. She blogs regularly for Money Crashers and Feefighers, and ghost blogs for a few well known CEOs. Her goal is to eventually work from a remote island equipped with Wi-Fi. View all posts by Suzanne Kearns This entry was posted in Employees. Bookmark the permalink.