The holiday season brings a timely pause for reflection, conversation, and celebration of a year that brought opportunities despite the challenges of an evolving online and hybrid world. Take time to light the virtual campfire and invite your teams to connect across cultures and geographies with some fun ways to celebrate.
In order to optimize connections for geographically distributed teams, it’s important to create an open and festive space where you can welcome team members both on-site and online. The opportunity to connect with cross-cultural and geographically distributed team members creates memorable experiences. Consider how to create moments for sharing and learning in reflecting on the past year.
Connect Team Members
As a team leader, you have an important role in facilitating knowledge-sharing. Introduce opportunities to connect team members. Invite teams to lead a holiday cheer involving their own language or cultural practice. You can also ask them to bring a holiday item or tradition in their country and share its meaning with the team. Another meaningful way to connect is to assign ‘Secret Holiday Gifts’ where each team member will find and present their gift to another team member during the Holiday meet-up. Yet another way is to present a question that needs to be answered by each member of the team, such as ‘what is at the top of your wish list?’ From sharing their stories to finding common interests, teams enjoy the process of connecting and building relationships.
Enjoy Social Networking
The opportunity to create social connections has been in great demand during a time when many feel isolated in working from home. Thus it becomes more important to enjoy a social holiday mixer in a hybrid environment. Whether you’re having a fireside chat on-site or online, you can pair up team members or organize speed networking sessions with a request to share and identify inspirations and highlights of the year. These highlights can be gathered as words, phrases, and photos where you can ask the team to create a year-end celebration board. In order to celebrate the moment, ask team members to bring and share their own beverage and/or local dish for enjoying an international holiday buffet.
Celebrate Success Stories
Since most work activities are performed online, it can be difficult to create visibility for projects and initiatives led and managed by team members. Take the opportunity of the holiday party to ask team members for an achievement or successful project they can share with everyone. This includes wins or success stories, in addition to reflections on what they found of learning value. Sharing an achievement provides recognition for team members as well as opportunities to inspire and celebrate the progress made by the team in 2021.
Whether your teams have access to on-site or online work spaces, it’s important to explore and discover the opportunities for creating an enjoyable hybrid experience for everyone. Be open to exploration and experimentation where a human-centric focus is essential in creating an enjoyable celebration for the holidays and into the New Year. Activities that promote continued engagement through learning and sharing will create a memorable celebration for everyone. Wishing you a very happy holiday season and year-end!
Author: Karina R. Jensen, Founder and Executive Director, Global Minds Network