Just because it’s summer, why stop spreading holiday cheer around your office? With employee engagement activities, your office will always be jolly.
With all the talk about Christmas in July, I am reminded about my family and how we do Holiday gift exchanges, which is admittedly a little different. From our annual tradition, the best memories are made, new bonds and jokes created each holiday season.
We play White Elephant — it’s a game where we each bring a gift with a $10 or less value, place them under the tree. My uncle passes out a deck of cards and holds a deck of cards. When a card is drawn, the person who has it chooses a gift from the tree or can take another person's gift, which in turn that person can do that same or choose a gift from under the tree. It get’s pretty intense— last year three of my cousins sought after the same two gifts which ended up being a keychain and a jar of peanuts.
Fast forward to the workplace: how cool would it be to add a White Elephant to the list of engagement activities for our office, and yours! Employee engagement activities have the same goals — create memories and build bonds between your employee’s, so why not merge the two together?
Let’s take a closer look at what you need, prep, and how to host a successful White Elephant in your office.
- Two decks of cards.
- Radio or playlist (something to set the Christmas mood)
- An account for Ving.
- Your employees!
What your employee’s need?
Send a Ving to your employees letting them know this months engagement activities. Make sure to include a personal video, this will help build the hype for the event. They will need to bring a gift, a $10 value or less, as well as their favorite dish or dessert to share: food always pairs well with engagement activities. Your Ving is a great time to remind them.
Put your employee’s humor and imagination to the test by telling them the gift can be whatever they want — the goal is to make the gift look desirable but really it could be a candy bar wrapped in a larger box.
Even you, as the boss can participate — and you should! Here is a list of great gifts your employees would love to get!
- A work remote day
- A free lunch
- A free coffee (support local business!)
All of these gifts can be written on a piece of paper and put into a small bag. You can even try wrapping it in a huge present just to throw them off the trail!
Since it’s the middle of summer and there are no Christmas trees or holiday decorations up, have your employees place their gifts on a table where they are visible for everyone. Take one deck of cards and pass a card to each employee and keep one for yourself if you want to participate. Be sure to keep track of which cards you pass out because you will need the same cards out of the second deck of cards.
How do you play?
To start the game, choose a card from the second deck. If you choose the two of diamonds — the person who holds the other two of diamonds will get up to choose a gift. This will go on for the first couple people.
Here’s the fun part! If Jane (person 1) picked a gift that Sarah (person 2) wants and Sarah’s card was just drawn — Sarah can take Jane’s gift from her. If that happens, then Jane can do the same to someone else. This can go on until someone takes a gift from the table then you can draw another card.
For time purposes— set a limit of five (or whatever you choose) gifts to be exchanged before another card can be drawn. Soon, there will be gifts that everyone want, which is the true entertainment of engagement activities.
How does the game end?
The game ends whenever the last gift is taken off the table. Now all of your employee’s are anxious to see what their gifts are, have them open them! This is where it’s funny when my family plays — the gifts everyone was trying to get may just be a pair of staples or something totally random that you’ll never use. The faces on your employee’s faces will be priceless.
Around the holiday’s everyone is so cheerful and giving. This and all the other holiday employee engagement activities is great for not just Christmas. Make employee engagement activities just the same and spread the cheer outside of the holiday season in your office.
Use Ving to inform your employees on the next employee engagement activities. Include all the information through a video or audio messages and add a survey to get employee feedback on if they are attending and what dish they will bring to share. When the activity is over share photos through Ving of who ended up with which gift. Click the link below for your free trial today!