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Top inclusive team bonding activities for the festive season

As the year winds down and the festive season takes over, our workplaces become a mini-melting pot of cultural celebrations. It’s a time of joy, but let's pause and think – is everyone feeling part of this joy?

Alexandros Pantelakis
Alexandros Pantelakis

HR content specialist at Workable, delivering in-depth, data-driven articles to offer insights into industry and tech trends.

Activities for inclusivity and team bonding during the festive season

Imagine the bustling office, where the spirit of unity shines brightly as colleagues celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Diwali together. 

The room glows with a harmonious blend of twinkling Christmas lights, the soft glow of the Hanukkah menorah, the vibrant hues of Diwali lanterns, and the symbolic Kwanzaa kinara. 

Laughter and music fill the air, blending traditions and creating a unique tapestry of celebration. 

A recent academic study showed that human relations culture, fun activities, informality, and symbolism increase employee satisfaction with company Christmas parties. Imagine if we also aimed for inclusion, how much better the results could be. 

Make this season a celebration of diversity and inclusivity for everyone by adopting some of the following ideas. 

Inclusive festive activities for onsite teams

From specific office decorations to food and festivities, this season is well-deserved by everyone. Let’s take a deeper look at the ideas that will foster inclusivity and diversity in your workplace. 

Office decorations

Decorations are more than just festive flair; they’re a reflection of our cultural identities. 

Encourage your team to contribute decorations that represent their traditions. 

A Christmas tree can stand alongside a Hanukkah menorah, a Kwanzaa kinara, or Diwali lights. Let the holiday season be a powerful visual representation of your organization’s commitment to inclusivity. 

Each decoration can be accompanied by a small card explaining its significance, turning your office into a festive, educational gallery.

Inclusive festive events

Move over, standard office Christmas party! Let’s shake things up with events that cater to everyone. 

Organize a ‘global festivities fair’ where employees can set up booths showcasing their cultural holidays through food, games, and storytelling. 

This not only fosters inclusivity but also sparks curiosity and camaraderie among employees. Such events can become a much-anticipated annual tradition, eagerly awaited by everyone in the office.

Food and Festivities

The way to a team’s heart is through their stomachs, and what better way to celebrate diversity than through food? 

Organize a multicultural potluck, where employees bring dishes from their cultural backgrounds. 

This can be a delightful culinary adventure, exposing team members to new flavors and stories behind different cuisines. 

Remember, inclusivity also means considering dietary restrictions – offering vegetarian, vegan, halal, and kosher options ensures everyone can partake in the feast.

Engaging remote employees in festive celebrations

While there are many things you can organize in your workplace, don’t forget about your remote employees. They are also celebrating and need to be a part of this game. Here are some ideas:

Virtual team-bonding activities

For our remote team members, the festive cheer is just a video call away. Plan virtual get-togethers with a cultural twist – perhaps a festive trivia contest or a virtual tour of different holiday traditions. 

Why not have a virtual background contest, where team members design their own festive-themed background? These activities are not just fun, they are a lifeline of inclusion to those who might be miles away from the office.

Gift exchanges and tokens of appreciation

Gift-giving is a universal part of many celebrations, and it can be inclusive and thoughtful even in a remote setting. 

Coordinate a virtual Secret Santa, or perhaps a ‘Cultural Surprise Exchange’ where gifts reflect different cultural festivities. And for a more personal touch, handwritten notes or personalized e-cards can add warmth to these digital exchanges.

Inclusive communication strategies

The power of words cannot be underestimated, especially during the festive season. Ensure all your communication – be it emails, newsletters, or social media posts – reflects the diverse spirit of the season. 

A simple acknowledgement of different festivities in your communication can make a world of difference. It’s these little things that contribute to a culture of inclusivity and respect.

Remember, as HR professionals, you have the power to shape the culture of your organization. 

By fostering an environment of understanding and respect, you’re not just celebrating the festive season; you’re building a stronger, more cohesive team.

Ready to bring these ideas to life in your workplace? Let’s make it happen.

Happy holidays! 

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