Christmas in the company: team building or team unbuilding?


Why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of your company’s Christmas event or activity

Every year, by this time in almost every company, there’s a buzz in the Marketing, Communications and Human Resources teams for one reason: Christmas. It’s supposed to be the time when many of these teams do everything they can to bring everyone in the company together for a single moment. A dinner, a different activity, a party…

But it’s also a time to close one year and start another. It’s time to present objectives for the year ahead, it’s time to present new strategies… so why not bring everyone together to renew their energy?

It’s not a peaceful topic. There are always those who are for and against this moment, or the company’s Christmas activity. There are those who don’t identify with the season; or who think it’s a time to celebrate with the family, but not at work; or even those who think it’s a superfluous investment…

However, the importance of this event should not be undervalued, because if it exists, it will leave its mark and those marks should be good and intentional. After all, it’s still a time spent as a team and that should be the focus, as it can serve as “team building” or “team unbuilding”.

Team building or team unbuilding

“Team unbuilding? Yes, exactly what the name implies, that is, activities that can cause damage to the functioning of the team and, yes, a mere Christmas event can have this kind of consequence, whenever the participants don’t understand the purpose of the event; or when they don’t go of their own free will; or whenever they are treated differently; etc.

Although not permanent damage to the team, these factors can lead to the aggravation of some of the symptoms of fragility that exist in the team. Therefore, we shouldn’t see the Christmas event or moment/activity as just another one to mark the date. We need to ensure that this moment contributes positively to the team and works in a “team building” logic.

To ensure that this happens, there is nothing better than explaining to all participants how important the event is for the organization and not for those on the front line. (By the way, “just for fun” is clearly not enough!). As far as possible, contributions from everyone, which lead to the final design of the event or Christmas activity, are fundamental to generating engagement, as participants feel that the event was born from their contributions.

In addition, generating buzz in the company that makes participants want to take part in the event is always a good strategy for attracting them, and during the event you should offer truly meaningful moments that convey the organization’s intended purpose.

Finally, why not have the courage to make this moment optional? There’s nothing more negative than feeling obliged to do something you don’t identify with, and don’t forget that based on these principles, Christmas is whenever man wants it to be!

Article for INFORH, written by the founding partner of Immersis, Carlos Moreira.

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Christmas in the company: team building or team unbuilding?