Celebrating the holiday season with your virtual team

When managing an online or virtual team, any excuse is a good excuse to get together and counteract the remoteness of your team’s reality. It is a time for celebrating, getting to know your team better, and forming bonds with your fellow workers. I have prepared some ideas for you that can be applied not only to distributed teams, but also for teams that see each other every day! I hope you enjoy them!

Pre-season Activity

Create a card together with your team members

  • How? Call each other and use an online whiteboard or other online collaboration tools to create the perfect card. Print it out and send it to the rest of the team by mail.
  • Benefits:
    • Each member will feel represented and involved.
    • You will have built something tangible together that will impact the rest of the organization.
    • Activity provides personal recognition.
  • This idea is especially good for groups with wide cultural diversity.

Holiday Season Celebration: Have a party

Secret friend

  • How? The manager can send each team member a message with the name of another employee. Each person will prepare something for their chosen colleague; something that is personalized or unique. Budget: $0
  • Benefits:
    • Deeper knowledge of the team members.
    • Team bonding experience.
    • Opportunity to show creativity.
  • Ideas for preparing a present: create a video about that person, sing a song, make a cool online video, give book recommendations, make up a short story portraying the team members, etc.…

Multicultural meal in a video conference

  • How? Each person will cook something that they traditionally eat during the holiday season and that is important in their culture. While everyone is eating, each person will explain:
    • What did they cook? How did they prepare it?
    • What are they celebrating?
    • What do people do when they eat that particular meal? Examples: sing, recite old poems, pray, etc.…
    • Additional questions (just for small groups): What were the best holiday memories that you remember?
  • After the meal: Share the recipes and photos in a blog made just for this occasion or in the private social media platform your company uses. You can also share that information with the rest of the teams in the company newsletter.
  • If you think a meal is too much, you can do the same activity with special celebration decorations instead.
  • If the team doesn’t know each other well enough, make sure to include an ice-breaker activity before the meal.
  • Benefits:
    • Increases knowledge and trust between team members.
    • Allows creativity to flow within the team.
    • Provides an opportunity of cultural exchange.
    • Gives individual recognition.

Desk decoration contest

  • How? Each team member will decorate their desk in a way that they prefer; remember that the decorations don’t necessarily need to be about Christmas. If you want to embrace cultural diversity, let each person choose what their topic will be.
    • During the party, have each person show and explain their desk decorations.
    • Have as many awards as there are people participating. Create them beforehand with captions like, “The Most Creative,” “The Most Elaborate,” “The Cutest,” “The Most Unexpected,” “The Funniest,” etc.…
  • Benefits:
    • Helps team building and increases knowledge between team members.
    • Allows individual creativity.
    • Shows team members’ skills.
    • Provides an opportunity of cultural exchange.

After the Party (optional):

Play an online multi-player game:

  • Choose a game where members must solve a mystery together or build something as a team.
  • Join an online karaoke and party on!

The holiday season is a great time to do these activities; it is proven that teams are more productive when team members feel appreciated, are enthusiastic, and feel like part of the team; improve everybody’s morale by organizing a holiday celebration! Don’t forget to tell us if you have more ideas!

A quick note from LH Agenda…

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Featured image via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0