It may be seven months away from the most wonderful time of the year, but it won’t hurt if, as early as now, you already have a plan for your Christmas team building activities. Planning early allows you to think of the activities thoroughly and customize the same to enable participants to learn lessons as they go through the activities. You can also make each activity count by strengthening your team’s camaraderie and teamwork. You see, the best way to incorporate valuable learnings is by adding them as lessons to be learned in fun activities.
People working in teams need to rekindle their team spirit to help them grow personally and professionally. Just imagine having them work for the entire year without bringing in a small element of fun into their work environment. That would be downright boring, right? It could also make an employee feel that their leaders don’t care for them. If you want to motivate them, you need to appeal to their emotions and send them a message that you care.
The challenge of the leader
As the leader, one of your roles is to make the people within your team function effectively. Aside from that, it’s also your role to find creative means to make them enjoy their job as they work better with the rest of the team. Though this seems like an easy job to take, the truth is it’s not for the faint-hearted.
People in the organization come from all walks of life and have different cultural backgrounds. Their differences are more than enough to cause a commotion. When the leader fails to channel these differences into something creative, the team can never reach its goal. This is precisely why it’s beneficial to incorporate fun activities into the usual company activities to build a deeper connection with these employees.
If they feel that their leader tries their best to look after their welfare and suggests activities that could be fun for them, they form better and stronger bonds – something that could be useful in achieving collective goals.
So, if you’re a leader who’s struggling to come up with fun Christmas team building activities and games that would likewise evoke spirits of camaraderie and teamwork, consider our suggestions. Here are some ideas for fun and engaging activities you can try with your team this Christmas.
1. Production number
Isn’t it fun when your employees get to showcase their talents? Do this as part of your Christmas team building activities this year. Announce two months earlier that you’ll be assigning each team member to a group, and they will have to perform as a group. Choose a theme for the said presentations to set the tone. Instruct everyone to present a number that’s aligned with the theme. Allow them to be as creative as possible and encourage all members to have a hand in the actual presentation.
To spice things up, set a prize for the said presentation. This will encourage them to show their competitive side and win the contest as a team. Make it look like a legitimate contest by inviting credible judges to rate their performances. If you could offer support in the form of a fixed amount per team to use for their props, the better. This could boost their morale as they think that you are making a substantial effort to build a fun atmosphere for them when needed. As they practice for the event, they will also grow closer and build better camaraderie. Win or lose, the party will end with memories that they will surely remember.
2. Treasure hunt
Suppose dancing or singing are considered fun Christmas team building activities; how much more if you rekindle the childhood memories in them with a modified treasure-hunting? Go for the amazing race type of activities that would allow team members to showcase their strengths in solving challenges, acquiring souvenirs, capturing photographs, and gathering information. In the process, the activity is meant to encourage team members to work together. For every challenge they win, they should get corresponding points. Whoever bags the most points within the timeframe allotted shall be considered the winner.
Again, set a theme for your treasure-hunting activity. You can go for such activities as finding and solving clues, solving conundrums and puzzles, matching places to pictures and hints, and photographic challenges. These activities would most likely suit extroverts, creative individuals, and analytical ones. These could also allow people to bond despite the highly competitive atmosphere.
Or talk to professionals in the field of creation treasure hunts or amazing race experiences like Urban Quest to ensure the highest level of fun and engagement at your Christmas team building activity slash Christmas party.
3. Make toys as Christmas giveaways
Christmas is a time for sharing and giving, so why not make the most of the Holiday cheer by encouraging your teammates to start a toy-making and gifting campaign? A month or two before Christmas, announce that your company will be sponsoring a gift-giving drive to your chosen charity. However, instead of the usual gift-giving campaign, they’ll be the ones making the gifts. Set the activity guidelines and encourage your teammates to be as creative and innovative as they can. Besides building teams, Christmas team building activities for corporate teams like this allow you to show goodwill and demonstrate corporate social responsibility by giving back to the community that helped your business grow. In essence, you’re setting an excellent example to your employees that they too should be generous and altruistic.
While you can’t expect them to make a commercial-grade toy, encourage them to create something exceptional. As they work in groups like Santa’s Little Helpers, they also foster skills like resource management, collaboration to meet quality and deadline requirements, and smart decision-making. As they work together to accomplish their common goal, they also grow closer to each other.
4. Christmas community pantry
Another worthwhile one from the list of Christmas team building activities that your teammates can launch is a Christmas community pantry. As you know, the pandemic has adversely affected most people’s livelihood, eating three times a day is already hard, much more than a Christmas get-together celebration. To provide help to these people while also invoking camaraderie and cooperation between team members, why not start a community pantry a day before Christmas or on your Christmas party schedule?
The food need not be grand. The main point of the activity is to feed the hungry and let them feel the spirit of Christmas despite the repercussions brought by the pandemic. The joy, satisfaction, and humility you take away from the experience is something that can unite your team even more.
5. Christmas bazaar
The past year taught us that everything is temporary and we should treasure each other because all could be lost overnight. To make this Christmas even more meaningful, try setting up a Christmas bazaar with your employees. Choose a beneficiary or purpose for the proceeds of the bazaar. It could be a struggling team member, a group-chosen charity, or the community that patronized your business. The proceeds could also be used to fund an activity chosen by the team.
Even if the team couldn’t directly benefit from the bazaar, the process of organizing and setting it up can already impart various lessons about teamwork. For one, it teaches them that when they work closely together, they can achieve better, bigger, and more valuable things. Secondly, they’ll also learn that they can create a ripple effect that could move other people to take action when they synergize. And lastly, it can also teach them that when they stand together, and can do good for the people that need their help.
All of these can create a more profound sense of purpose among the employees. It could also make them feel happy and satisfied that the company they’re working for not only cares about profits but also about the needs of the marginalized people in the community.
6. Community lunch or dinner
Activities that promote teamwork are those that allow team members to work together to achieve a goal. And what better way to mix the jovial Christmas spirit with teamwork than setting up a community lunch or dinner? A week or two before your Christmas party, announce to your team that you’ll be holding a community lunch or dinner where everyone is invited. However, the catch here is that they should work in groups to cook the whole community’s food.
Assign one team to prepare the desserts, another to cook the main course, and others to prepare other food for the community feast. Allow them to come up with budget and menu proposals per team. Once the proposal is approved, let your team plan and brainstorm among themselves. Also, give them enough leeway to do what they have to do on the day of the event.
This kind of activity will help them work seamlessly together even if they’re outside the usual work environment. In the process, they would realize that the people that they find toxic in the typical corporate set-up might not be that toxic after all. And that the system might just be wearing them down that they are often hard to deal with. If they see their teammates in a different light, they might also taper down on their negative judgments and feelings about them.
Besides that, fun and exciting community activities also invoke camaraderie and unity among people within the same group. It validates them and makes them think that they belong to this group. As they go back to their normal work setups, they’ll carry these positive feelings and work better together.
7. Christmas Carols
You can also plan a large-scale Christmas carolling activity for your next Christmas party. Before you gather for an office-wide Christmas dinner, why not perform in the park or outside your office building? The goal of the activity is to encourage cooperation and leadership among team members while also giving back to the community that patronized your services and brand.
You can choose to form one large choir or break your teams into smaller groups to perform simultaneously across different venues. Set the carolling event to last for an hour. After that, your teams will go back to your Christmas venue to partake in a sumptuous Christmas dinner you prepared for them.
This activity would require teams to choose their repertoire, practice their song selection, and ensure a smooth performance. In all these phases of the carolling activity, every team member learns the value of working together and contributing their best effort to deliver outstanding performance. As they join the rest of the team for dinner, they’ll feel a more profound sense of satisfaction that the company they work for exerted effort to reward them after a job well done.
8. Exchange gifts with a twist
Aside from the seven Christmas team building activities mentioned and discussed above, you can also add more fun to the usual Christmas exchange gift activity by adding a ‘testimonial’ part before revealing one’s Kris Kringle.
On the day of your Christmas party, set up a mini stage in your venue and ask everyone to put their gifts on the table and also set up on the same stage. When it’s time for the attendees to give out their gifts, instruct them that before they reveal the name of their Kris Kringle, they need to say something positive about that person. It could be a description of that person’s commendable trait, an expression of gratitude, or a special thank you for a favour that person granted. Encourage everyone to be creative, detailed, and specific in giving their testimonial.
People love to hear expressions of gratitude and appreciation about them. It makes them feel validated and relevant. Ensure that everyone gets a positive testimony. When all of them are done, end the gift-giving with a warm and heartfelt message thanking the rest of the team for a job well done this year. Also, encourage them to do better in the years to come.
Simply thinking about these activities could make one feel warm and special. How much more if these are done and carried out in real life? At the end of the event, you will surely see your team members brimming with joy as their sense of worth, belongingness, and altruism are rekindled. On top of that, their relationships with their teammates are also improved and brought to a more trusting and intimate level.
Stop searching for Christmas team building activities at the workplace. Instead, try these activities we suggested at your next Christmas party and be prepared to reap all the positive effects.