Great news! Your company has a vaccination policy in place, testing is more broadly available, COVID cases are going down, and you have senior leadership support to plan an in-person holiday party. As an event professional, it feels good to have the green light to plan in-person gathering. Am I right? But how do you make sure that your remote team members feel included?
You start the planning process by selecting a venue, picking a date, and creating a plan for your event. When asked how many attendees you’re expecting, you’re faced with an obstacle: Not everyone can attend in person. Maybe you’ve hired folks who don’t live close enough to attend. Maybe your employees moved to be closer to family. Maybe some folks aren’t quite ready to attend an in-person event due to their comfort during this stage of the pandemic. But most likely, it’s a mix of all those factors.
So, how do you ensure your employees who are remote also feel recognized and connected as you plan your company holiday party?
You’re not alone in facing this challenge. Many of our clients are looking for ways to ensure folks who are not able to attend the company holiday party in-person still have a great experience.
Here are our top 5 tips on what to do (and not do) for your remote folks during your in-person holiday party:
1. Send a gift box.
Having something delivered directly to your employees’ home will add a special element to event. It’s not just fun to receive packages and open them; gift boxes also enhance the experience and show your remote employees that you care about them.
2. Host a family-friendly virtual activity.
Since these folks are home, it’s more likely that their partners, roommates, and/or kids are by their side throughout their working hours. Offer an activity like a kids’ scavenger hunt or a cooking class to make the event fun for the whole family!
3. Provide options.
For your employees attending an in-person event, they can choose whether they want to be on the dance floor, at the bar, playing games, or mingling at a table. Try to replicate this through a virtual event by offering a variety of different options simultaneously. One person may be most interested in a magic show whereas someone else may want to spend their time playing a game of trivia.
4. Send a personalized note from senior leaders.
You know that warm feeling you get when you read a handwritten note from someone you admire? You know that feeling of recognition, of being appreciated? That’s a real moment. And with just a little forethought and planning, you can create that feeling for your remote team. Work with senior leaders or managers to send personalized notes to members of the remote team. Trust us, it’s worth the effort.
5. Be mindful of time of day.
While many in person holiday parties take place after work hours, when folks work from home it’s hard enough to put boundaries in place between work and life. For virtual events, we recommend hosting them during working hours.
Looking for a partner to help plan your company’s virtual holiday party? We’d love to work with you!