How to Celebrate Christmas in Office or Remotely on a Tight Budget

How to Celebrate Christmas in Office or Remotely on a Tight Budget

Christmas time is party time at the office with teams and colleagues meeting up with each other, socializing and having fun. After a year of dedication and hard work, Christmas time brings in the time which is meant for celebrating and enjoying.

Christmas party at the office fills the workplace with a feeling of joy and happiness. Moreover, the Christmas party at the office can be an effective way to boost the morale of your employees by appreciating them for their hard work and efforts.

A Christmas party at the office can also help in increasing the productivity of your organization and improving the relationships between teams at the workplace.

As an employer, you should emphasize organizing such parties at the workplace as they help in bringing a positive vibe throughout the office and would also allow your employees to relax amidst all the work pressure.

However, the major problem which is faced by the employers in organizing a Christmas party at the office is the budget for the party.

If your organization is a new one or a start-up, then the budget for the Christmas party would be a tight one. Organizing a cheap Christmas party at the workplace in a tight budget can be a challenging task.

But, there are plenty of things associated with the Christmas party which can be done even within a tight party budget.

 

Christmas Party Ideas

Let us enlist some of the major methods by which a Christmas party at the office can be thrown on a tight budget.

 

Selection of the Party Date

The Christmas party date should be convenient for most of your employees.

This is the most important part of the Christmas party as the date of the Christmas party must be decided well in advance. You can select the date for the Christmas party as per the convenience of your employees.

The party can be on a weekend night or a weekday night, but this can be decided by taking the opinion of your employees.

Moreover, if you have a tight budget and want to avoid high prices you can plan for a Christmas party in January which would also be a great way for welcoming the New Year.

 

Selection of the Venue / Working from Home

The selection of the venue is another important task for a Christmas party. Mostly, organizers for the Christmas party do not look for numerous options and agree to the first option they obtain.

However, you should do some more research and try to find out some other options for a venue where you can negotiate the prices and get good offers as well.

If you are planning the Christmas party virtually i.e for your work from home employees, set a theme and send them invite well in advance

Moreover, if you are planning for a tight budget Christmas party it is always wise to plan for your Christmas party at your work premises. This will help you in organizing a cheap Christmas party as you can be able to cut down the expenses involved in renting a space for the Christmas party.

Also, you can get your employees engaged in decorating the place and this can turn out to be a cost-cutting measure.

 

Deciding on a theme for the Christmas party

Nothing can be more exciting than hosting a theme-oriented Christmas party at your workplace. Even when you are planning for organizing a cheap Christmas party for your employees, you can think about including several themes for your Christmas party.

These themes will make your Christmas party even more interesting and can be managed within a limited budget as well.

There are several themes available for hosting a tight budget Christmas party such as Christmas Carnival, Winter Wonderland, Masquerade Ball, Christmas Jumper Event, etc. These themes can be easily implemented and within a limited budget.

Send an for Simple Invitations or an Email

Invitations: Send teasers, contest alerts, e-invites, etc. at least 3 days in advance to build up the hype.

For your workplace Christmas party, if budget is a constraint you can think about ways to make things creative within a tight budget. You can think about ways by which you can send simple invitations other than the paper invitations. The paper invitations can be expensive and will even take a lot of time, effort.

However, you can think about e-invite methods and send invitations to your office Christmas party via e-mails. This is convenient and a perfect approach for organizing a limited budget Christmas party.

 

Budget-friendly Decor

The decoration part of your Christmas party would be expensive as you would like to have a bright and colourful place to enjoy. If you are going to prefer professional party decorators, it would be quite expensive and would be a hurdle.

You can think about ideas by which you can re-use things which are easily available for decorating your party venue. This can make your plan of organizing a cheap Christmas party feasible.

In this activity, you can easily get your employees involved and assign some tasks associated with the décor to everyone.

Bunting can be used here for decorating the place and a team of your employees can cut out shapes, use strings to attach them and decorate the entire place. Your team can get coloured markers and coloured pencils, then decorate them throughout the place.

Moreover, you can instruct your employees to arrange a Christmas tree and the basic decor items like balls, stars, etc. These items are available at nominal prices and would fit into your Christmas party budget easily.

In addition to these decorative items, for other items like crockery and candles, you can suggest your team for mixing some different designs of bowls, plates, and different sized candles to create a pattern.

Apart from procuring fresh flowers which can be expensive, you can use different types of candles and citrus fruits decorated in vases which will be aromatic and elegant.

 

Food and Drinks

Now, the major attraction of every Christmas party is the food and drinks. These are going to take up a major portion of your budget for the Christmas party.

So, you can think about options by which you would be able to serve good quality food and drinks to your guests without bringing any deviations in your budget.

One method by which you can bring in good quality food without making much adjustment in your budget is by offering eatables that are small or appetizer-sized.

This will be budget-friendly and even your guests will get the opportunity to try varieties of dishes together. Some items like soups, meat skewers and dips can be good from a taste perspective and also fit into your budget.

Moreover, you can think about arranging a potluck dinner or recipe exchange plan and get the food items arranged for your Christmas party.

When it comes to drinks at a Christmas party, procuring alcohol for the party can drain out your budget. Since you are planning for a tight budget Christmas party you can procure mainly one or two types of drinks and announce them as “signature drink” for the evening.

You can use this strategy to procure one or two good quality drinks at a nominal price and make your guests feel elated. Moreover, you can have lots of non-alcoholic drinks at your Christmas party such as juices, punch, sparkling water, etc.

 

Music

The music at a Christmas party must be the best so that your dance floor remains full throughout the party. You can get a very decent set of speakers at reasonable prices which would help play varieties of music such as pop music, chart hits, etc.

Moreover, you can make some of your employees engaged in getting smartphone music apps which would help create your radio stations. These can play peppy numbers and party songs throughout the Christmas party and keep your dance floor jam-packed.

 

Games and Other Activities

The major intent of your Christmas party at the workplace is to make your employees feel happy and entertained. So, your employees should not feel bored at the Christmas party and should enjoy it completely.

This can be feasible if you have arranged for some good games and fun activities at the party.

You can ask some of your team members to take up this responsibility. They can download games available on the internet free of cost. Then these games can be customized according to your theme of the Christmas party and the choice of your employees.

Some award-giving activities can also be included in these, it might be a serious or a funny award-giving activity but it will add to the fun quotient of the Christmas party.

 

Not up for a full-fledged party? Well, here are some budget Christmas party ideas!

Now, since the major constraint for the Christmas party is budget of the Christmas party it is essential to think and consider various ways by which your employees can enjoy Christmas time at a nominal price.

Apart from the conventional budget-friendly ideas for celebrating Christmas, there are some different and innovative ideas by which your employees can have a good time during Christmas.

These are different holiday ideas by which you may not arrange the same old stereotypical Christmas parties at the office but can give your employees a fun time within a limited budget.

 

Dine Outside with your Team

This is more or less a cheap Christmas party idea but it is sure to give a lot of fun to your employees. You can fix up a lunch or a dinner plan for the entire team and have an entire fun-filled afternoon or evening. This will be a budget-friendly plan and will also make your employees feel happy.

 

Organize Potluck having a Christmas Theme

As said earlier, a potluck lunch during Christmas can be included in a conventional Christmas party or you can simply organize a Christmas party potluck lunch at your office.

Your employees can form teams and each team can get some food items for the Christmas party potluck lunch. This will be a great idea for having some fun during Christmas and also your employees will get the opportunity for bonding amongst themselves.

 

Gift Exchange Ideas – Secret Santa

The Secret Santa gift exchange idea is quite common among all during Christmas. Every employee will get a gift for the other employee for whom he would be the Secret Santa.

Your teams at the workplace can give some list related to categories of gifts that can be bought or set a price limit within which gifts have to be procured. This will make the entire idea of the Christmas party interesting and within a fixed budget.

You can order online and deliver your gift directly to your secret Santa’s place if your planning this event while working from home.

Reas our blog on Secret Santa: Drop the tie and suit – You are a Secret Santa now

 

A Small or Large Christmas Gift for Everyone

As an employer, Christmas time is the best time to appreciate your employees and make them feel special. You can get all of them small or large gifts and make thank them for their hard work and efforts.

This would make the holiday season even more fun-filled and joyful for all your employees.

 

Watch Some Shows Together

This can be another tight budget Christmas party idea in which all your employees can together take a day off for watching some show or movie together. It would be a comedy show, family related show or even a holiday-related show.

This would increase the proximity amongst your employees and would not impact your budget for the Christmas party as well.

 

Christmas Decoration at the Office

This can be organized in the form of competition at your workplace. A particular team of your employees must be having a specific work area where they would be sitting.

Each team has to decorate their work area based on the Christmas party theme. The rules and any other guidelines for the competition can be defined by the judges.

The team with the best Christmas decoration will be awarded a special Christmas gift. This can be fun and can bring out the creative side of your employees.

 

Christmas Trivia Contest

The Christmas trivia contest is competition itself. You can create teams that can participate in the contest. Judges panel can get questions based on Christmas, holidays and keep a track of the scores.

Awards for the winning team are a must to boost their spirit and encourage them.

Christmas Celebrations with Magicians or Comedians at Workplace or Virtually

You can invite some magician or comedian to your workplace and organize a fun fiesta type of activity. If you have a little more budget allocated, you can arrange some other games in the fiesta.

Your employees can get their kids if they want to. Small refreshments can be arranged to make the activity even more enjoyable.

 

Conclusion

Hence, the Christmas party at the office is an excellent idea for giving a break to your employees from the daily work life.

There are numerous budget-friendly and cheap Christmas party ideas which can be real fun for your employees.

These ideas can be creative too and you can customize these tight budget Christmas party ideas according to your convenience.

A Christmas party after a full year of hard work is sure to bring smiles on the faces of your employees.

Rewarding your Employees for Christmas & New Year

Rewarding your Employees for Christmas & New Year

The Christmas & New Year holidays are the best time to appreciate your employees for their hard work and dedication over the year and end it on a happy note.

Even if not all of your employees celebrate Christmas in office , celebrating the end of a calendar year is a significant event. But sometimes it is best to look beyond the ‘traditional’ Christmas incentives such as yearly bonuses or an office party.

Traditional Christmas rewards like food and wine no longer hold value to employees. A research done on their choice of gift shows that they prefer to be offered monetary benefits and feel motivated by items that are personalized or technological.

 

 

Mentioned below are some tips for spreading some festive cheer

1.Set the ‘Stage’

Come November end and flocks of people are seen shopping in anticipation of Christmas and New Years. The HR departments get busy trying to figure how to go about the celebrations this year around.

Nothing screams Christmas like a well decorated Christmas tree. You can also surprise them with an office decoration competition or decorating their homes (as working from home) – whatever you do, just make sure you put the effort in.

This encourages your staff to get involved with putting up decorations and get into the Christmas spirit.

 

2. High Incentives- High Spirits

Another technique of kicking up your sales and the employees spirits is offering incentives to your employees.

Employers can offer great sales incentives in December to encourage a good year end push to meet sales targets. This could be anything that goes a little further than what you’d provide during the rest of the year.

Rather than something that employees can redeem instantly – which will be forgotten by the time the holidays are over – consider using something a little more long-term as an incentive. Something that is memorable and meaningful to employees.

Travel vouchers, hotel stays or passes to events to use in the new year will be a great motivator that continues to inspire staff loyalty in the future.

 

3. Their Choice Matters

It is proving to be a good idea these days to give employees a gift voucher. This not only lets them choose the incentive, but it also opens up a wide range of choice as to which retailer or service provider the employer will decide to offer the employees.

An increase in trend towards gift vouchers from e-stores that allows the customers to choose from options such as supermarkets, department stores, multiple stores or even experiential vouchers.

Traditional gifts such as cakes and wine, Christmas puddings and hampers were popular a while ago, but there has been a recent shift in trend of gifting in the past few years.

Another added benefit of employees being involved in the choice of Christmas gifting is letting them know that you care about them and their preferences. This is the new trend, to give staff something with more flexibility to choose what they really want.

Personalizing gift vouchers for employees from one store shows you’ve taken the time to choose a gift for him/her. It is extremely important for the employer to let his employees know that they are valued.

 

4.Holiday Enticement

The gift of time is a popular way of rewarding staff at Christmas with a number of employers giving a day or half-day as holiday to staff, to spend time with friends or family, or even to prepare for their Christmas feast.

Social interaction at outings organized for the team members with various activities can prove to be a great way of boosting team morale as well.

A great example of a company that respects and celebrates its employee’s would be Raheja Constructions. To keep their employees engaged and happy they have adopted the motto of keeping the happiness of their employees at the top.

They organize team lunches during important festivals, and the families of all the team members are also invited to these events. This allows the employees to enjoy the festivities along with their family.

The festival of Christmas is about getting together and celebrating whatever the age or religion of the employee. Employee demographic across all spectrum should be recognized and their needs should be considered.

Plan a secret santa in your office or for your employees working from home 

 

5. Festive Finances

A reasonable way to incentivize the employees during Christmas is handing out cash. But it loses value if given along with the salary as it doesn’t have as much as an impact and can become taxable too.

Employers need to be giving their workers something that’s a little bit more of a memorable treat rather than an event that is forgotten very quickly.

Though few employers still want to treat their staff to the traditional Christmas party or a team lunch to save money. Parties during Christmas need not be heavily budgeted.

You can also provide a complete employee group health and wellness insurance to take care of their well-being

Simple innovative ideas and clever organization of these events goes a long way in bringing festive cheer to the employees. A small gesture, a simple gift is a great motivational incentive that any employee would expect from his higher ups.

According to research done regarding gifts for employee’s , the popularity of the seasonal soirée is depleting among them. A whopping 92% of employees would rather receive a cash bonus at Christmas than have a party.

Help your employees plan their finances for FREE with our financial planning tool

 

6. Personal Service

An employer does not always have the budget nor the resources to offer bonuses or gifts at Christmas. It is therefore important to keep up communications to help dispel any assumptions or expectations employees might have in this case.

It can be really counterproductive to them if that anticipated bonus check never comes thus making it necessary to keep employees in the loop.

To promote motivation levels of the employees sometimes during the holiday period it is great to personalize the greetings of the season. It doesn’t have to be anything that costs money.

A simple but heartfelt thank you to the employees for their hard work and dedication through the holiday season can go a long way in boosting their morale. A face to face interaction helps in giving a personal touch and gets your appreciation across to the employees.

 

For many employers Christmas can be the busiest time of the year even though it is generally considered as a time of giving.

Therefore asking the staff what they would like, instead of wasting time and money on gifts that would not be memorable to them and will be forgotten as soon as the festivities are over, is a better solution.

Asking the employees to write down their own Christmas wish list let’s them know that we as a company will listen to your needs. We’re not talking about gifts necessarily, but rather let them have their say on what would be most beneficial to them over the festive period.

A unified decision regarding shortened work hours or an extra day off if they manage to meet deadlines is a key to gain the confidence and trust of the employees and make them realize that the management listens and cares about them.

Employers need not be always motivated by cash incentives. Instead they can be motivated by being recognized for their work and appreciation for a job well done, flexible work schedule and of course promotions!

Rather than trying to impose their decisions regarding the festive celebrations on their employees, bosses can take a back seat and let the employees lead the way thus making them feel responsible and in the process prescribe a Christmas reward that everybody wants.

Not only will this raise morale simply from the perspective that you took the time to think about what people would like – it also ultimately provides staff with a Christmas reward that they prefer.

 

7. Let them let off steam!

Everyone may not celebrate Christmas and some might not even enjoy the festivities. At the same time some go overboard and all out thus spreading the festive bug.

It could be a personal choice or due to religious beliefs, some people would not want to join you to celebrate.

And that is completely okay. Forcing someone who isn’t keen on being a part of a Christmas lunch or party is not the right way to celebrate. But one would not hesitate to say that festive fever is contagious too.

Seeing someone enthusiastic can send the onlooker into the same mode. Make sure you keep their preferences in mind before planning group activities.
Understand that no two people are the same and respect everyone’s personal preferences and beliefs around the end of the year.

 

8. Goodies and sweets

Enjoying the Christmas day with a best possible and well laid exotic dishes is the all awaited event. People do tend to over-indulge a bit traditionally during Christmas, and a great way to get on the good side of your employees is by giving them the best gift there is to give, chocolates and pies! Feed them all the mince pies and tarts you can as this is a great way of spreading some Christmas cheer.

Exchange of well thought of gifts and surprises and best of all receiving a gift that you always were dreaming of, is god sent. Bringing a smile on the employees face is a joy to watch.

 

9. Use of technology

The advancement of technological resources has brought about a revolution in the gifting world. Employers are using digital resources to incentivise staff at Christmas such as e-coupons or online gift cards. Incentives that are web-based are great because people are more into buying things digitally these days.

The use of technology has become more prevalent across the board. A decade ago nobody would have thought that paper voucher-orientated gifts would be taken over by the e-gift and e-cards to reflect a similar solution to how people like to shop.

Even though e-mails or e-vouchers are not as effective as employers may believe. They may seem comparatively easier to personalized notes and gift cards but the overall outcome is less effective to charm the employees. Seeing their elated faces is the ultimate goal of any organization.

To summarize it is essential to let employees know that you know them and their preferences.

So Christmas gifting can become a menial task and an expensive one at that, especially for an organization with a large number of employees.

But if done correctly, gifting can become the best way to lift the spirit of your employees and make the most of the opportunity.

Knowing the preferences of employees for example some who like coffee can be given vouchers to their favorite coffee outlets. Or if someone likes books he/she can be given vouchers for bookstores.

If employers are not sure what to gift their employees it is better to let them choose as nobody likes getting a gift they can’t use. Prepaid debit cards and voucher cheque are a very simple way to provide your staff with a spending limit that they can use anywhere they please.

In this way without disappointing anyone everyone can get something they love.

 

Here’s how you can plan a Christmas party under a tight budget for your employees working from home

How to Organize Secret Santa in Office / WFH Employees

How to Organize Secret Santa in Office / WFH Employees

Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes its many joys and festive traditions for all those celebrating.
The universal symbol, the Christmas tree moves in, all its decorations tailing it.
Workplaces and houses alike, everyone gets their Christmas tree. Something else that is synonymous with Christmas is the gifts.
Christmas is the biggest annual gift exchange in the world. And there are multiple ways to do it. An evergreen way is, by playing Secret Santa.

 

 

What is Secret Santa?

Secret Santa is the ideal integration of what defines Christmas, gifts and games. From being conceptualized in ancient Scandinavia by knocking on someone’s door, throwing a present inside when it opens, and then running away, centuries ago, to evolving into a globally acknowledged go-to game for most gift exchanges amongst friends, fellow students and also increasingly now, colleagues from work.

Workplaces and offices around the world have hopped onto the bandwagon of Secret Santa, encouraging employees to participate, in a bid to enhance relationships between co-workers and increase chemistry. After all, the merriment isn’t to be kept at home only.

It’s to be shared abundantly!

What are Secret Santa rules?

Times have changed, customs have evolved and that crude practice of spreading joy now is shrouded in formal sophistication enabling it to be accepted as a sliver of warmth in the cold corporate world.

So what are the rules to the Secret Santa game? Simply building on anything that revolves around ‘no one knowing who’s getting whom a gift’ would be acceptable and there are numerous versions of it played worldwide.

However here’s a step by step guide to organize a gift exchange at your office without complicating it:

  • Put down all the names: All the participants can write their names on a chit of paper and collect it in a box.
  • Set a budget: Eliminates all ulterior motives or any kind of inequality from stemming and the Secret Santa game is no longer a popularity contest. This encourages employees to get creative with their ideas and work within what is allotted.
  • Draw out secret santas: Finding out who they get to surprise on Christmas! Let employees randomly choose chits from the box and start planning a gift for the name on their chit.
  • Mark a date: Choose a day for the exchange, convenient enough for employees to make it, without compromising any office work or the vacations.
  • Exchange: The fun part! Wait until everyone is gathered to engage everyone and liven up the occasion. Let employees receive their gifts from their secret santas, and let the emotions of shock, surprise, excitement, and joy spill out. To avoid hitches or any misplaced gifts, make sure all gifts are tagged properly.
  • Guess who: A must-do activity post-exchange. ‘Cos who was the sweet soul who bought Karen her favorite book, or gifted that cozy sweatshirt to Dylan? You gotta know, and so has the recipient of your well-thought out gift. Share the appreciation.

 

Read more about how to reward your employees this Christmas

 

Secret Santa gifts ideas for boys and girls

Talking about appreciation, how to make your choice of gift warrant that appreciation? Brief up employees on a few things such as, essentially, a little bit of effort goes a long way. Let there be no room for impractical jokes, make your gift worthwhile.

Nobody, no matter how well intended your humor is, would want to be the butt of ‘that Secret Santa joke’.

Consequently, there’s two ways to go about choosing a gift. One would be to play it safe.

Get a practical gift with a common use. That way, even if the recipient does not particularly like what they get, it still serves a purpose.

Coffee mugs with a sassy print, to up their cool desk points, flaunt some cheek at passersby. Or a snug premium sweater for the winter to come, a lasting gift, utilitarian.

No? Too generic? There’s a more thoughtful alternative. Ask around about your recipient, look up their social media, casually, nonchalantly inquire with them (don’t, if you’re clumsy at conversation, there’ll be time for that when you already impress them with your choice) about what they like, or what they’re into.

She might be a reader of classics, get her an ancient archive of literary masterpieces.

He has a green thumb? Get a kitchen gardening kit which will have him engrossed for days. He perennially loses his wallet? Get him one with an inbuilt GPS that can be tracked from a phone, finances secured, friendship secured.

Secret Santa gifts for girls

Feeling like your personal touch could just be a gender specific gift? Why not. So, ladies first, in true chivalrous fashion.

And in true economic fashion, the number one women dominated industry in the world as consumers, cosmetics!

Buy the latest Huda Beauty set for your coworker, or browse through Kylie Cosmetics’ famed lip products. But we all know what women really love, the universal choice.

The guiltiest of them all, all things cocoa. Pick a box of the very best gourmet chocolates from Lindt, cadbury , or the evergreen ball of goodness that is a Ferrero Rocher.

Don’t be surprised Something a bit more essential? Shop for a smart outfit, formal enough for office use, and add to their wardrobe.

Maybe ask around for her favourite colour, and buy a dress along those lines. Handbags are an all-time favourite too, watch them sling it on their shoulders and stride through the next day.

For a lower budget, a hand mirror can be a handy choice to facilitate on the move touch-ups.

 

Secret Santa gifts for boys

Need to gift the gentlemen at your office? Start with a corporate gentleman’s necessity, a suit. Preferably obtain said recipients measurements, and get a suit made to fit. Because the fitting is key.

Opt for darker hues, don’t go lighter than grey. After all, the targeted occasions for use are formal. A white shirt to go with the suit is an immaculate choice. What if the gentleman is already an accomplished dresser?

A pair of leather Oxfords won’t harm. Alternatively, let’s dive into the world of classy accessories. A leather wallet, or a belt, as brownie point additions to their tip-top attires are great choices too. Many men also love smelling the best.

A premium cologne for the men to spruce up their office wear. And just to break away from the monotony of the corporate life, by considering the increasing number of sneaker-heads everywhere, gift a pair of Yeezys, Jordans, or Air Force Ones and watch him go bonkers over the new toy.

 

Secret Santa gifts for everyone

While we’re at it, why not discuss the best gender neutral gifts too?

  • A phone case, a subtle design to blend in with the office.
  • A key holder to organize the house keys, car keys, and other important keys. It’s very easy to get some customization done to it too.
  • A stationary organizer. To keep all the desk tools in order.
  • A luxury pen. Butter smooth ink, and a premier grip and feel, to make signing every cheque a great experience.
  • Perfumes. Scents galore, make the office smell heavenly. Win-win.

Take care of your employees health and wellness with corporate insurance solution

 

Secret Santa generator websites

Just like this tradition’s boomed in manner, the digital boom has also been overwhelming in the past decade. And of course, it’s like you guessed it, we can use it to our advantage.

Why go through the old school hassle of writing down names and shuffling through a hat or box, when you can just punch away at a keyboard!

A simple Google search will reveal multiple websites that help you set up a draw for your Secret Santa. One such website, with an extremely user-friendly interface is drawnames.com (not sponsored).

It allows you to register all the participants, link their email-IDs or WhatsApp numbers to send out customized invites, and helps randomly choose a gift (or two) per Secret Santa. Convenient enough, isn’t it?

That’s not all; you can also name your exchange, set a date for it and specify a budget with any currency in the world. All within a few minutes, and you’re all set up.

 

Secret Santa generator Apps

To begin with, by far the best reviewed app to help in organising a Secret Santa event, and deservedly so, is Elfster.

Apart from letting you name the event, customize rules, set budgets, Elfster’s best part is it allowing the participants to also draw up a wish list to help Secret Santas in choosing a gift which their recipients would want, themselves.

Just sign up after downloading the app and you are good to go.

Second on the list is, Simple Secret Santa Generator. A clean, non-intrusive user interface for a zero-bug experience when organising the event. Why should you download and use this app?

It has no screen covering, or annoying spam advertisements to distract you, firstly. And also allows you to send invites through every major Android or iOS messaging app.

A well organised app, except that you cannot set a price budget. Surely, passing that on through word-of-mouth or a simple text does not hurt.

Talking about clean user interface designs, how about a cool one? Secret Santa Service, is where it’s at. A super-cool interface, which on a different note, lets you assign roles to each participant.

It’s only drawbacks being, it does not support email invites. And that you have to pay up for an upgrade to maximum users above four, albeit a sum of Rs 75 to Rs 100

A very wholesome alternative application is, Santa’s Secret Keeper. A literal limitless app, which implements zero restrictions on the number of groups you can create or the number of participants you can involve. Also allows you to toggle between a minimum and a maximum budget to set. But this app’s niche feature is it allows the user to prevent potential matchups when randomising the secret santas.

This eliminates biases, repeats from last year’s event and gives a different twist to things. And all this, for no upgrade costs or premium charges at all, on Android and iOS. Just take your time to understand it, might take a while.

And if you want more organization, there’s Secret Santa Gift Exchange. This app lets you format your participant list in a PDF file, to help print it out when needed.

A basic feature but you never know how handy it is, until you use it. Also allows you to freshen up how your app looks with multiple themes to choose from depending on the nature of your celebration.

So if your red ever gets too conventional and ugly, there’s always a jumpy blue to click on and brighten the lights!

Out of these 5 apps, with all their pros and cons, we would recommend getting Santa’s Secret Exchange (not sponsored) for a seamless, hassle free experience when planning out your Secret Santa party.

Read more about Digital Engagement Ideas For Work From Home Employees

 

Secret Santa generator Microsoft Excel

However, if you have time on your hands and want somewhat more of a challenge, you can opt to go the Microsoft Excel way! List down the names of participants in a column, and then create a list of random numbers using the RAND function. Next, rank the numbers using the RANK function.

Lastly, use the VLOOKUP function, in a third column to lookup the name of the person who was randomly assigned each number and ascertain every participant’s respective giftes. If in case, someone is assigned their own self, just hit F9 to rerun the function and remedy the problem.

With such ease of organization, much benefit to be availed, a Secret Santa this Christmas at your office is a must-do! Plan, give thought to your gifts and spread the love. Because ‘tis the season to be jolly. ‘Tis the season to gift.

Help your Employees plan their finances with our FREE financial planning tool

Digital Engagement Ideas For Work From Home Employees

Digital Engagement Ideas For Work From Home Employees

The current scenario has brought the world to a halt. The pandemic has affected not only health but also the routine and lifestyle of people. The world’s economy has drastically declined, and the helplessness has given rise to frustration amongst workaholics. The initial weeks must have felt like a nice vacation, but now that it’s been a long time, there is agitation and suffocation all over the place.

Those who have a habit of going out very frequently are now trapped in the house for months and cannot cope with things. There is a reduction in salary due to the drop in the economy. People are expected to work to bring normality in the world and to keep themselves busy. There are numerous factors to keep in mind when it comes to lockdown and work from home. There is a lack of work environment, a lot of disturbance and chaos. One is expected to do both house and office work due to their availability at home. There is frustration because of low income, and one has to continually look for solutions to make ways to pay rents and fees. People are not able to keep track of days and minutes.

Time is running at full speed, and it also seems like it isn’t moving at the same time. There is a lot of denial and depression all around the world. Things are no longer smooth, and hence the work-life balance is taking a toll on everyone. There is a lack of privacy and space at home, which also adds to the agitation. The workload of the company is the icing on the cake. Hence there are some ways in which work from home can be made fun and encouraging.

The following 15 steps can help guide the employees towards good work from home experience:

1) Build a new routine

Don’t follow the routine that was developed before the world flipped out. Set a time table and distribute all the activities so that there is enough time for everything. Allotment of time and proper schedule can keep one glued and motivated throughout the day. Given that work from home may not have a fixed start and end time, it can cause a lot of stress and pressure if one doesn’t have a firm stand as there could be a possibility to be taken for granted. One will be expected to receive calls as per the convenience of others, so it’s essential to be firm.

2) Make a checklist

Putting a tick before each task is very satisfying and can encourage one to keep going without getting frustrated and tired. The time table should be such that there is enough buffer time between each activity to avoid lag and frustration.

3) Adapt to a healthy lifestyle

The way the day has begun for someone has much influence on how the rest of the days will go. The lockdown is the perfect time to start the healthy habits that one has always wanting to do but couldn’t due to time constraints. The day can begin with early morning meditation and exercise, followed by a wholesome, healthy breakfast, and a refreshing shower. The healthy start to the day will keep one energetic and active. Starting the day with eating something nutritious instead of junk can not only help in boosting immunity but concentration as well. Early to bed and early to rise has always been the go-to mantra for all.

4) Boundaries

Since it’s impossible to go to a particular place to do the office work, some limitations should be made for the family members so that there is no expectation, disappointment, and confusion later. The family members should be considerate and understand that it is impossible to entertain household activities in the middle of the work.

5) Work like the environment

It is challenging to get the feel and seriousness of work when done from home, so in such a case, there must be an environment made for employment. Just like playrooms and study areas are made for kids at home in the same way, a portion of the house can be dedicated as a workplace. Table, chair, stationaries, and other relevant things can be kept together and organized in a way that it gives the workplace vibes. One can stick post it’s and decorate that area; however, they want to replicate the look of the cabin they have in their office. To further get the seriousness, it is also advisable for people to sit for work in their office look as it will help them concentrate and get the feel of being in an office.

6) Technicalities

Factors such as the appliance used and the connectivity of the internet and signal should be kept in mind. If the laptop is not in its best state, then it can make the work more frustrating. Get the computer fixed and make sure that there are proper connectivity and signal at home. Buffering and slow internet can instantly boost the frustration level.

7) Socialization

Like every healthy office environment, employees have a habit of talking to their colleagues and discuss the reports and other office-related things. Since sitting together in one place isn’t possible anymore, there is still an option to stay connected with friends from the office. A video call on zoom or Skype with a colleague can help to reduce that problem. The video call will not only help in interaction but also aid in motivation. One employee can get motivated by looking at another one, and it can help in encouraging them to work and make them realize that they are not alone.

Read our blog to learn more about Why are millennial’s important and how to motivate them?

8) Keep in the loop

The heads of the office must remain in constant contact with their employees. An update should be given to those in the office to prevent them from feeling blank and out of the loop. It should be the boss’s responsibility to have a one to one interaction with every employee to identify an issue that he/she is facing while working from home. Regular conference calls and meetings can help the employees in staying busy and connected. It will add familiarity and less amount of change for the employees.

9) Deadlines

The work allotted to the employees should be done along with a deadline. If not given by the boss, then the colleagues should set a deadline for one another. This will keep people busy. Work will be done on time and keep everyone engaged. The deadlines along with the checklist will help one realize that some productive work has been done, and feeling of hopelessness and frustration will be significantly reduced.

Here are top 20 Employee Engagement Activities that will help you to motivate your employees

10) Plan activities

Events and activities that are usually done in the office should be continued. Games should be organized regularly, to keep the energy alive and to bring some enthusiasm back. Employees can take turns and plan games for the weekend, and these games can be based on their area of interest. This will help bring out hidden talents, act as an ice breaker, and erase the feeling of boredom and monotony. If the concept of celebrating an employee’s birthday is there is an office, then it should be continued. The employee should be made to feel special by receiving warm wishes. This, too, can be done on the video call. The lockdown can be utilized to bring the employees together and fill in the gaps.

11) Work on the weaknesses

The boss should make an effort to motivate and boost every employee’s confidence. Tasks and activities should be given to the employees so that it enhances their performance at work. The negatives and positives should be identified, and the employees should be made to work on them. This will boost their confidence and also encourage them to do better.

12) Incentives and bonuses

The companies that are well established and are not showing any loss in business can take it as an opportunity to increase the salary of their employees. There is much money saved from travel, electricity bills, and other expenses. The money saved by the company can be used to give a bonus to their hard-working employees; this will reduce the pressure on their heads and also keep them cemented to their work.

13) Give feedback

There should be transparency between the company and its employees. The employees should be allowed to give their views on how the company is being run; there should be room for ideas and suggestions by the staff. An approach to improve the way the work is being done can benefit the company and its employees. The employees should also receive feedback from the company, and their performance should be assessed and discussed. This will help keep a performance track of every employee and reduce the possibility of friction and confusion.

14) Flexibility

Now that the work needs to be done from home and there is nowhere to go, there is an advantage of flexibility. In case, due to some home-related chore, the exact time table was not followed, it should not become a reason for agitation and irritation as one should keep the option of modification in mind. If the work assigned is not done in the morning due to some reason, then one should not panic, the work can be done in the afternoon or evening. There is a lot of travel time that is being saved, so it is fine to not stick to the exact schedule all the time. However, one should try to follow the routine as much as possible because otherwise, it can nullify the entire purpose.

15) Rest

One cannot sit in one place for long, sitting in front of the laptop in the same posture all day can be tiring and unhealthy at the same time. It is advisable to take 10 minutes to break after every 45 minutes. Work without a break can lead to tiredness and fatigue. Small breaks can help to keep it active for the rest of the day. The phone calls from the office can be taken by walking while having a conversation. It will not only help in having some mobility but also help one to wake up from sleep. Healthy snacks and beverages can also be consumed while at work to get energized.

It all comes down to the perspective one has. Work from home can undoubtedly be confusing and frustrating, but one should also try to look at the other side of the road. Staying at home for months can help members of the family to reconnect and bond again. This wouldn’t have happened if one had to sit in the office away from home for hours.

There is much money that is being saved due to the lockdown. This can help in refining one’s accounting skills and can build the habit of saving. The work from home concept has made people realize that a balance between work and home can be created. The ones who don’t usually help at home have realized that they have hidden talents and can also cook well.

The time away from the office environment can be utilized to stay fit and in help in personality development. New skills and programs can be learned in an enormous amount of time. Digital engagement activities should be incorporated exclusively. Online courses and skills determined can enhance CV and improvise knowledge and work performance.

Companies should encourage their employees to do better and identify the potential they have. The daily dose of encouragement should be given in the form of calls and webinars. Influential personalities should be invited to give talks and address the budding talents in the office. This is the time for unity and teamwork, and hence the energy should be put towards positivity.

A planned routine and focussed approach can help in making the work more manageable than it looks. Support from the family and a comfortable environment can further enhance the ease of work. Engage in activities that calm the mind, listen to music, read a novel, or talk to a friend when taking small breaks between tasks. Allow the brain to rest, eat healthy, and take short naps to refresh the body and soul.

Here are top employee engagement trends that will keep your employees motivated

Things should be slowed down in terms of work, and the rush can add to the stress and tension. Hard work, dedication, and determination are all that is needed, whether it is about working from home or away from it, the key to success remains the same.

The Impact of Social Media Usage on Employee Productivity

The Impact of Social Media Usage on Employee Productivity

Once considered as the new fad, social media has gone to garner massive growth and popularity over the years. Such has been its prevalence that it has managed to change almost every facet of how we communicate, socialize, and engage for both professional and personal activities. However, the usage of social media platforms in the workplace toes a fine line. While it can have a highly positive impact on the marketing efforts of a company, it can also drain employee productivity.A recent study published by TeamLease World of Work Report provides detailed insight into how unlimited social media usage allowance by employers is affecting workforce productivity comprehensively. The report has clearly stated that organizations that allow unrestricted usage of social media are risking somewhere between 15% to a whopping 45% drop in productivity of their employees.

According to the same study, Facebook is the most visited social media platform during work hours. With a whopping 83% of employees spending significant time on the platform, restricting access to the platform may seem as quite the quick fix organizations are looking for.

 

The Issue at Hand

With a rise in digitization, it has become imperative for companies to maintain an online presence. These social media platforms, hence, enable organizations to build a loyal following online and provide necessary updates quickly, reaching thousands with a single post.

Given this premise, social media usage can be included in the definition of ‘work,’ making it quite necessary for organizations to allow unrestricted access to their employees. However, it has a considerable downside.

While employees are using social media for business/work-related purposes, it is easy to get distracted by notifications and go down the rabbit hole of social media. The report has stated that around 32% of the total time spent on social media is used for indulging in personal work.

This personal work may range from employees trying to strengthen their own private networks or keeping up with the lives of their families and friends. These statistics prove to be a massive loss in terms of both productivity and revenue to the organization.

Apart from this, the indulgence of employees in various social media platforms also leads to the loss of confidential information, misinformation, defamation, and employee solicitation, the report adds.

Even though all the information mentioned above points fingers towards social media as the culprit, organizations can’t merely restrict access to social media as it breeds a whole lot of problems by itself.

Let’s Not Blame Social Media…YET

Organizations that are trying to ban the usage of social media may face massive dents in brand value, in the eyes of its employees. Further, how must one manage business-related social media endeavors if the access is entirely restricted?
Just because there are drunken driving cases, we don’t necessarily blame the cars, right? Similarly, even though, at first, social media may seem like the culprit, we need to look again in a much deeper manner.

As we all know, just like there are cons for everything, there is always a positive side to it too. Social media is a new-age version of emails; it helps employees collaborate easily.

Along with that, social media also aids in time effectivity, primarily if the operations are carried out of a largely dispersed environment. This fact sure earns some brownie points for unrestricted access to social media in the workplace.
However, as deemed necessary in every scenario with contradictory pros and cons, maintaining a balance is key.

Organizations cannot leverage on high productivity only by refuting access to all social media in office premises. On the other extreme end, allowing unrestricted access to all platforms may prove incredibly jarring upon the organization’s productivity and revenue.

One cannot look past the fact that social media has become a part of life for not just the millennial generation, but for most people. More people wake up to a post by Selena Gomez (the most followed person on Instagram), than they do to another person.

Work Around It, Not Against It

Organizations are expected to embrace this change and modify their working process in a manner that allows them to leverage on all the positives of both extremes.

One way that organizations are trying to improve the relationship between the usage of social media and employee productivity is through the channelization of essential conversations and communications, even if this is limited within the premises.

Just like emails made fax and other offline communications seem outdated, the new generation of employees finds the usage of social media easier for internal as well as external communications. Hence, the adaptation of organizations to the usage of social media not only enables employees to work liberally, but it also allows maintenance of goodwill among the workforce.

As the famous phrase, ‘change is the only constant,’ organizations that have failed to adapt to this are bound to be considered outdated and orthodox, which could bruise the reputation, and in turn, its overall business operations.

The report also sheds light on how such adaptation, in combination with the availability of high-speed internet with better bandwidth capacity, is shaping innovation in the usage of social media within workplaces.

Bonding, Over Binding, is Key

Studies further showcase that improving employee relationships and connecting to them may result in a minimization of misuse of social media and loss of productive time. As mentioned before, while social media may seem like the culprit, organizations must tackle more critical issues, whose side-effect may be loss of productivity and overuse of social media.

Furthermore, the study has also emphasized on how motivation can lead to a much higher level of productivity. Motivated employee force can channelize social media capabilities aiding better collaboration and higher innovation.

Other research has suggested that social media, along with improving collaboration, also aids in problem-solving and brainstorming on ideas. While more than 80% of employees believe that social media has helped them improve their work relationships, approximately 60% have also stressed on how social media has aided in decision-making processes.

This research also suggested that more than 50% of employers have restricted social media access in the workplace. In a support study concerning 277 employees of a healthcare organization, the notion that social media harms employee productivity proved wrong. On the contrary, it suggested that a complete restriction of social media access impacted employee retention to a much greater extent.

The importance of social media is as visible as a flashy neon sign on a dark road. One simply cannot deny it anymore. The most used social media platforms, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, have already started working on the launch of their enterprise versions, strengthening this fact’s credibility.

Meeting in the Middle

However, as pointed out above, balance is key. How much is indeed too much? Where must organizations draw a line? These questions can only be answered through designing of social media policies and revising them at regular intervals to fit their organization’s operations entirely.

Rather than imposing a social media policy upon their employees, it is better suggested to involve them in the designing process of such systems. This will not only enable finding middle ground, keeping both parties happy but also aid in minimization loss of productivity and heightened proactivity among the employee force.

Moreover, cocreation will lead to higher acceptance of the policy, with employees behaving more responsibly towards the usage of social media. Such initiatives will also allow employers to build stronger bonds with their workforce, and hence, retain them for more extended periods.

Let Them Make Your Brand

Enabling social media access for your employees in a balanced manner will also allow you to turn your employee force as your brand ambassadors. By inspiring your employees to promote your brand, you can hit more than 1 bird with 1 stone.

Firstly, social media and employee productivity start working together positively, instead of against each other owing to a shift in how the employees engage with these platforms.

Secondly, your brand value will start surging as employees speak more positively.

Thirdly, you instill a sense of responsibility within your employees, enabling better usage of social media.
While there are several downsides to this idea, if executed properly, it can uplift the comprehensive positives to a new level.

Tackling Other Social Media Hazards

All the sweet talk apart, one potential disadvantage of allowing social media usage on-premises is the challenge of employee retention. As we discussed earlier, the complete elimination of social media access could also lead to lower employee retention. How to tackle this issue then?

Studies have shown than more than 76% of employees were engaging more with potential new employers they found on social media. Alternatively, around 60% simply used social media for the purpose of refreshment.

Fret not. The primary key to employee retention is maintaining healthy relationships with your workforce. Many organizations fail to recognize this fact and end up enforcing policies that fuel the downward spiral towards doom.

It is incredibly essential to realize that whether or not such access to social media is provided within premises if employees are not satisfied with the work they do or whomever they work for, they are bound to try and connect with new potential workplaces actively; just outside of office premises.

Hence, it again boils down to the simple fact that employee relationships are vital to maintaining a high retention rate. And the first step towards bettering the same is the inclusion of opinions and suggestions while drafting enforceable policies.

Another solution that can aid in minimizing the risk towards retention is including training programs on how to efficiently use social media and focus on the positives such as collaboration, creation, and innovation. Achieving these goals shall heighten the satisfaction of employees, enabling higher attachment to the organization. This could potentially neutralize the impending risk of retention social media has created.

Furthermore, recognizing employees’ achievements on these social media platforms will additionally allow better relationships among managers and subordinates. Providing visibility to employee achievements on company social media also leads to your company’s goodwill to spike, undoubtedly impacting your business. It gives more insight into the organization’s core values, elevating positive outlook.

Another positive side effect of recognizing employees is the ability to leverage your social media platforms as a strong recruitment basis. The advent of social media has enabled potential employees to scrutinize organizations’ profiles and to get a sneak peek into the work culture before considering an application.

Recognizing your employees not only lifts the spirits of your workforce but also attracts motivated and talented people to join it and help you expand quicker. This approach helps you in turning the threat of social media towards retention into an opportunity of not only better retention but also better recruitment.

Key Takeaway

The relationship between social media and employee productivity will undoubtedly be negative if enabled haphazardly. It is also prominent that trying to ‘control’ or ‘limit’ social media usage within the organization, through the imposition of stringent policies also might hurt your organization.

However, this impact of social media can definitely be derived more positively by freeing the hand a little bit and allowing your employees the room of expression, leisure, and responsibility. When an organization is adapting to changes, they must include employees to have a say in the policies being imposed. Organizations not only understand the comfort zones of their workforce but also are better informed of the work culture present in the organization.

The key takeaway of this study would be that while it may be uncomfortable to adapt to a shift towards social media, there is more than one way to make the tables turn in your favor. Finding the right balance between usage of these platforms for achieving organizational goals and that for personal benefits is all it truly boils down to.

Employers must engage in real-time efforts to motivate their workforce to use social media responsibly and effectively. Depending upon the path taken by organizations, the relationship established between social media and employee productivity remains rather highly volatile.

20 Employee Wellness Challenges for 2020

20 Employee Wellness Challenges for 2020

Workplace wellness challenges are a great way to keep your employees fit and also to cultivate their loyalty towards your company. Wellness programs that offer perks and benefits are seen to be positive reinforcements that not only help the employee to stay healthy but also develop a lot of positivity among the workforce. Employee wellness challenges are a fun way to keep your workers fit. It is also a good way to build interpersonal relationships between employees. Take a look at this article to know more about the best employee wellness challenges for 2020 and how they can work to your benefit.

1. Walking challenges

As we all know, walking is a great way to stay fit. You could incorporate certain walking challenges. These could happen at a set time, such as over the weekends, or on a daily basis. You can set challenges to make the experience all the more exciting for your employees. For instance, begin with asking them to walk between the buildings or departments at work. The next step would be to encourage them to walk to work.

Expert tip – Provide your employees with fitness bands so that their steps can be recorded. Give rewards to the people who walk the most in a day, a week or a month.

2. Cycling challenges

Cycling is another great way to stay fit. Encourage your employees to use their bicycles to commute to work, instead of driving. This would be a great way to increase their fitness levels and would also help lower the air pollution levels. Offer perks to those who cycle for the most number of hours in a week.

Expert tip – Invest in some bicycles and keep them in your office compound. Tell your employees they are free to use them to commute to and fro work and also to commute to the different departments/branches of the organisation.

3. Park-faraway-challenge

For those who insist on driving to work, encourage them to park a bit far away from the office building. Ask them to walk to and from their car to the office every day. This will be a good way to get some basic exercise done, even when they are largely sedentary.

Expert tip – If it is possible, shift the parking area a bit further away from where it is now. If your employees use a public parking space, give rewards to those who park at a lot that’s some distance away.

4. Staircase challenges

Among the easiest employee wellness challenges is the staircase challenge. Ask your employees to simply take the stairs and not the elevator. Discourage or limit the use of the elevator. Of course, this can only work if your office is located on a lower floor. It would not work if you are placed on the 25th floor of a building!

Expert tip – Make this a monthly challenge, wherein the employees who successfully manage to take the stairs each day for an entire month get a handy perk at the end of it. Keep a chart at the top of the staircase where the employees can sign as they finish their daily targets.

5. Nutritional challenges

Healthy living doesn’t just consist of physical challenges – it comprises diet modifications as well. Introduce a nutritional challenge in your office. Encourage your employees to pack their lunches from home to avoid ordering food at lunchtime. Then, if you have a cafeteria, modify the menu and include only healthy food options. The person who orders the minimum amount of outside food by consuming the home/office cafeteria food gets rewarded at the end of the month.

Expert tip – Hire a proper chef who can curate a good menu and offer delicious food at the cafeteria. Unless the food is exciting and tasty, the challenge will fail from your end.

6. Don’t-skip-breakfast challenge

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Encourage your employees to have a hearty breakfast before coming to work. Set up a healthy breakfast bar at the office to encourage them to grab a meal if they didn’t do so at home.

Expert tip – Stock up a fridge with healthy juices, fresh fruits, energy bars, etc that anyone in the office can grab on the go.

7. Hydration challenge

Drinking water is a health necessity that most people ignore. It is also one of the easiest to follow. Encourage your employees to stay hydrated. Offer perks to the department that empties the contents of their water cooler the quickest each day. Staying hydrated has many advantages and this is one of the most basic employees wellness challenges that you must look to introduce.

Expert tip – Offer clean and hygienic drinking water to the employees. Install large water coolers or dispensers in every department.

8. Workout challenges

Working out at a gym or a fitness class is inarguably one of the best and most effective employee wellness challenges. However, due to various reasons, many people shy away from undertaking this challenge. Make it exciting and more approachable for your employees by installing a small gym in the office. If space is a constraint, tie-up with a professional gym, Zumba class, etc. Offer discount vouchers to your employees to encourage them to take up the challenge.

Expert tip – Announce prizes for the “biggest loser” of the month, to honour the employee who lost the most amount of weight by undertaking the workout challenge.

9. Meditation challenges

Mental health and wellness are just as important as physical wellness. Organise meditation challenges to encourage your employees to relax and become stress-free. This will increase their productivity and will keep them happy as well.

Expert tip – Organise Yoga classes in the office. This will be a good way for the employees to meditate.

10. Sporting challenges

Playing a sport can be a great way to stay fit. It is also an excellent team-building method. Begin organising sporting events on weekends. Sports such as badminton, soccer, cricket and tennis can be played by the employees. Divide them into teams, and have them play against one another.

Expert tip – Most cities have local parks and clubs that you can hire to organise the intra-office tournaments in. Make proper arrangements and plan an organisational sporting event every once in a while.

11. Hobby challenges

This is another challenge that can work wonders for the mental wellness of your employees. Ask your employees to pursue hobbies such as baking or painting that they may have wanted to pursue long. A hobby can relax the mind to a great extent and increase the mental alertness levels of the employee as well.

Expert tip – Organise a fun-fate in the office on a weekend. Have stalls where your employees can showcase and sell their hobby-based items such as artwork or bakes.

12. ‘Quit smoking’ challenge

This is one of the most obvious employee wellness challenges. Encourage your employees to quit or reduce their habit of smoking. Smoking is bad in all ways. It affects physical wellness levels. Challenge your employees to quit the habit by offering increasing rewards on a time-basis. An employee will receive a reward if he/she completes an entire smoke-free month. A larger reward will be given at the end of the third smoke-free year and an even larger one at the end of a six-month period.

Expert tip – Make sure the employee has enough support at home. If the spouse smokes too, increase the volume of the reward when both spouses abstain from smoking together.

13. Marathon challenges

Organize small marathons or walkathons for your employees and their family members on weekends or public holidays. Keep the distance short so that it is not a tedious or intimidating event for your employees to consider participating in. Running for two or three kilometers, and preparing for it beforehand, can be an excellent employee wellness challenge.

Expert tip – Make the marathon a complete, day-long event to increase the levels of interest. Have a musical program after the run, or a buffet lunch, to ensure maximum participation.

14. Volunteering challenges

Volunteering is a great way to stay active as well as happy. Encourage your employees to take up volunteering challenges. Offer incentives such as paid-leaves provided the time is used for volunteering. Your employees could work as a team and represent your firm (for example, organise an educational workshop at an orphanage) or pursue volunteering on their own. The aim is to improve their emotional wellbeing, so give them the independence to choose the challenge.

Expert tip – Partner with NGOs so that your employees can easily volunteer their time without having to look for opportunities (provided they want to).

15. Sleep challenges

Sleeping is perhaps the most crucial wellness requirement. It is mandatory for everyone to sleep for 6-8 hours each night. Anyone who sleeps less than that risks a chance of getting high blood pressure, heart ailments and so on. Improper sleep can also result in undue stress and lack of mental alertness. This is why you must encourage your employees to get adequate sleep each night.

Expert tip – Provide your employees with sleep monitors. The employees who get enough sleep can be rewarded at the end of each month.

16. Laughter challenges

Laughter is the best medicine and people who laugh more frequently are said to enjoy stress-free, relaxed lives. Laughter also keeps the mood and atmosphere of the office positive which makes it better and more productive for the employees. Encourage your employees to laugh more. Organise stand-up comedy shows where you either bring in a professional comedian or ask your own employees to participate.

Expert tip – Start a laughter club in the office and encourage your employees to join in in great numbers.

17. Digital detox challenge

Constant exposure to a screen can cause severe headaches, eye-problems, etc for your employees. Prevent this by encouraging them to be screen-free for at least 30 minutes each day at work. Encourage them to step away from their workstations and go for a walk, stand by the coffee machine or converse with their colleagues. A digital detox can be a great opportunity for relaxation.

Expert tip – Ensure you have a fixed time period for the daily digital detox challenge, else your employees may misuse this opportunity and stay away from their workstations for long periods of time.

18. Standing challenge

Sitting at one place for long hours can cause havoc to a person’s spine and posture. Ask your employees to stand for one minute every hour. Alternatively, remove all the chairs and desks from the meeting/conference rooms and have them stand during team meetings. Standing challenges can help improve their overall wellness levels and make them more alert.

Expert tip – Conduct random checks throughout the day and reward the people standing at that time with small perks.

19. Go on a vacation challenge

Taking some time off from work at least once a year is crucial for the physical and mental wellbeing of an employee. Make vacationing compulsory for your employees. Provide compulsory vacation time in the form of paid leave that they have to take. Partner with travel agencies, hotel chains etc to offer discounts in bookings to ensure your employees complete the vacation challenge.

Expert tip – Offer the mandatory leaves to different employees at different times to make sure you have a balance between the employees present and employees absent at all times.

20. ‘Better yourselves’ challenge

And finally, encourage your employees to adopt a wellness regime independently. As an employer, you can encourage them to stay fit by offering the above-mentioned challenges, but their own well being ultimately depends on their efforts and attitudes. Ask them to adopt as many fitness regimes as possible and stick to them diligently to improve their health and happiness quotients.

In conclusion

Employee wellness challenges are an integral part of almost every company these days. A company that has a healthy workforce is bound to drive in more profits. Retaining talented employees becomes easier when the employees feel well and content. Give the above-mentioned employee wellness challenges a try and notice a positive change in your employees. You will be able to keep your employees fit while making the process an enjoyable one for everybody.