What drives companies to organize Christmas dinners? It’s another good opportunity to stimulate cohesion, strengthen identification with organizational values, motivate and enhance team spirit. But does it pay off?
The beep in your email. The little blue ball that has now appeared in your Inbox leaves no doubt: the Save-the-Date for another company Christmas Party has just landed in your email! Reactions to this communication can be diverse, more or less enthusiastic, depending on the quality of your memories of the event in previous years.
In most situations, there will be at least one Christmas Dinner, a “short” speech of good wishes, an exchange of gifts (more or less secret) and a period, sometimes awkward, of music, dancing, alcohol, embarrassing revelations, or just a conversation like: “So, where are we going!”; “So, who’s in?” – in short, the classics of the company Christmas party.
It’s worth thinking for a moment about why companies organize these Christmas events. Invariably, it will be another good opportunity to stimulate cohesion, strengthen identification with organizational values, motivate and enhance team spirit, strengthen ties, renew or start relationships, or simply to take a pleasant break from the routine of work. The investment made here is sometimes very significant and pursues one or more of these objectives. But does it pay off?
Some of these organizations, realizing that the Christmas Dinner should only be intended for relaxed socializing among employees, allowing them to sit wherever they want and with whomever they want, choose to have a corporate action before the dinner. This may make sense, but it depends on the type of action you decide to propose to your employees. It should be memorable and clearly meet the above objectives. But is that what happens?
I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to rigorously measure the achievement of these objectives, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the comments that will take place in the pantry the next day in order to have access to a reasonable qualitative study. What is being talked about? What was highlighted at the event? What will remain in employees’ memories and minds?
That’s why it might be worth considering one of these five Christmas events, aimed at any type and size of group: the five corporate Christmas events you never thought of:
It’s a game designed for teams. It consists of an immersive experience where you explore how some key behaviors are manifested under pressure and in a group context.
Upon entering a room, the pressure of time reinforced by a countdown that will go down to 0:00, places participants in an amplified situation of their day-to-day work, where time is invariably short and as a consequence, does not always allow us to make the best decisions.
What is it for?
This dynamic manages, in just one hour, to highlight the natural behaviors of each person: allowing us to identify personality traits, attitudes and commitment to the group; on the other hand, it allows us to evaluate the functioning of the team: to observe group dynamics and collective strategies that are more or less effective in achieving the objectives set.
A fun “collaborative competition” which consists of building a bicycle from scratch in around 60 minutes, starting from a work table containing all the disassembled parts and tools needed to complete the task, without using any instruction manuals.
Each team, made up of 5 to 10 people, will only have to assemble one bicycle and will have to rely on the other teams, since some of the parts or tools they need are there and vice versa.
After assembly, the bike they have assembled will be used by another team and they will also receive a bike from another team to ride through a small obstacle course. In the end, the bikes will be given to children in need.
What’s the point?
In this dynamic it is possible to draw some reflections, namely: do we need all the detail to “get the machine working” in pressure contexts?; does collaboration equal efficiency?; are communication and trust important when everyone works together?; were we paying attention to what others did to help or learn? and were the “competing” teams doing the same?
Ideal for short activations with a large number of participants, with very broad and diverse pedagogical notes.
It’s a real social responsibility experience that consists of transforming the participants into a group of percussionists who will learn to play different types of drums and tambourines until they are able to play a piece with very demanding elements: the real Bombarte of the CERCI Lisboa project, made up of people with special needs.
Initially, the team is divided into sub-groups that will learn different rhythms, then gradually integrated into a single team and a single piece of music, played together with the original percussionists.
What is it for?
This dynamic aims to work with the participants on the three fundamental pillars of team building: common goal, shared vision and interdependence – the latter being highlighted through the role that each person plays in this piece of music.
It could be an experience where you cook your own Christmas Dinner, but why not innovate even more this year? This is a real long shot! A set of tasks that you never imagined would be your responsibility.
The challenge of this experience is to bring various objects (a Christmas tree, for example) to life, taking on the role of electronics engineers, mechanical engineers and computer programmers who necessarily have to work as a team.
The team will have to tackle collaborative tasks that consist of assembling a particular object, correctly assembling a set of electronic components and programming a microprocessor that will allow the object they have assembled to come to life. Sounds impossible!
What is it for?
It serves to take teams out of their comfort zone, confronting them with a challenge that appeals to their interdependence and ability to adapt.
The methodology of problem-solving in the face of unknown phenomena is often an additional difficulty for groups that have already acquired a basic and adequate functioning as a team.
How do they organize themselves to tackle an unknown problem? Will they be efficient?
This experience consists of transforming the participants into a gospel choir, directed by conductor João Castro (conductor of the famous St. Dominic’s Gospel Choir), who will present the final result of everyone’s work to a real and very demanding audience.
The conductor will begin