Thanksgiving is arguably one of the best holidays of the year. Between the golden roasted (or deep-fried!) turkey, bowls of sweet cranberry sauce, and heaps of buttery mashed potatoes, it’s hard to go wrong with a holiday dedicated almost exclusively to eating.
In years past, we may have coordinated a company-wide Thanksgiving potluck or lunch celebration at the office. But as well all know and have heard many, many times by now, “this year things will be different.”
With that in mind, how can we as employers spread some Thanksgiving spirit despite remote workers and social distancing? Read on for some creative ideas for a pandemic-friendly office Thanksgiving celebration.
1. Virtual Feast
Okay, so an in-person company catered lunch or potluck may be out of the question. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forego the feasting festivities altogether!
One great option is to send each member of your team a Grubhub or Postmates gift card for a virtual office Thanksgiving celebration. Each person can have their favorite local restaurant delivered, and then you can all hop on a company zoom call to catch up, show off your meals, and share what you’re thankful for.
Not only will your employees appreciate the gesture, but this is also a great way to support other local businesses. And if your team has been working remotely, it will be extra nice for everyone to get to see each other’s faces!
2. Easy (And Safe!) Giving
Maybe in the past, your team has gathered together for an office canned food drive or volunteer event. While giving back might look a little different this year, it’s not completely off the table!
There are lots of virtual volunteering options out there. Vote as a team on something you can do together (for example, making holiday cards for hospice patients!), or encourage employees to pick a volunteer opportunity that works best for them.
Alternatively, if your business has a favorite charity you like to support that accepts online donations, consider offering a company match for any employee donations. Or, allow your team to vote on a non-profit for your company to make a charitable donation to on behalf of the entire team.
3. Home Office Upgrades
For businesses with remote workers, another idea is to treat them to a few home office upgrades! This could come in the form of a gift card to Amazon or Office Depot. Or, you could give all employees a budget and have them submit their upgrade request to HR to purchase.
To simplify things further (and possibly benefit from bulk savings), pre-select several upgrade items and let employees pick which one they would like! (Some of our employees’ favorites for $20-30 are clip-on ring lights, wireless keyboard and mouse combos, ergonomic back cushions, or laptop stands!)
4. Speak Up
As meaningful as gifts can be, never forget the power of actually saying thank you! There are numerous benefits to showing and receiving gratitude, so give employees an opportunity to do both with some of the options below:
- In your next company meeting, have each manager give a personalized shout-out to each of their direct reports. Be as specific as possible, and share from the heart!
- Allow all employees to submit written kudos to their peers through a survey or email to your HR department. Share the submissions during a company meeting or in the company chat, or print/handwrite these and physically mail them to your employees for a fun surprise!
- Have your teammates submit a written message or 30-second video clip of what they’re thankful for. Compile the submissions and send them as a video to your team, or watch them together at your next company meeting!
5. Recognize Your Essential Workers
Finally, if you have any essential workers at your organization, consider doing something a little extra special to recognize them. This could be in the form of a Heroes bonus to thank them for their dedication despite the health risks. Some other fun ideas are:
- A socially-distanced pizza party where each worker gets their own personal pizza.
- Custom care packages for each individual based on their interests and tastes. (There are some great ideas here!)
- Closing early to give employees a few extra hours of family time.
It’s true, 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. However, there is still so much that we can be grateful for. We hope you enjoy these ideas to show some special appreciation to your team and still put on an unforgettable office Thanksgiving celebration. For even more employee management tips and tricks, head over to our HR Support Center.
Need a little extra support? No matter your situation, SDP has layers of HR support that can help. Learn more about our HR Support Services here. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for even more business tips & news!