Even the most efficient, friendly office can sometimes get boring. That’s why creative senior managers look for ways to spice up office life with special events, team-building processes and changes to the environment like decorations. Think about Christmas, for example. Doesn’t it give staff a boost to see the glistening tinsel and to hang bells by their computer screens? The truth is that employees enjoy variations in their working life. They appreciate birthdays, Christmas and other events because they give the whole office a chance to come together, whether that’s with group decorations or cutting birthday cakes. One event that doesn’t receive as much attention is Halloween, but there’s no reason why offices can’t embrace the event and generate some positive energy in the workplace. Then again, Halloween isn’t without its problems. When it comes to handling Halloween in the office, there are some simple tips that will help you to guide your team through any sticky situation.
What Makes Halloween Such a Great Event for Office Celebrations?
Before we look at the do’s and don’ts of holding an office Halloween celebration, it’s worth discussing why you would want to spend the time (and money) staging such an event. Well, for one thing, Halloween is non-denominational. It reaches across religious lines and has a potential appeal for almost all staff members. Secondly, it’s simply great fun. It takes a pretty humorless person to raise objections to placing a few pumpkins around the office or allowing staff to wear witches’ hats to work. Thirdly, there are plenty of activities that you can organize around Halloween, which don’t involve booking function rooms, bars or leaving the office. For example, pumpkin carving, costume competitions or bobbing for apples can be done almost anywhere. Finally, Halloween isn’t usually based around alcohol. There’s no need to hit the bar, and employees who don’t drink won’t feel isolated, unlike Christmas when parties tend to revolve around drinking a lot more. For some reason, Halloween has a more wholesome feel about it, even though it deals with monsters and the undead. It all adds up to an excellent basis for an office celebration.
Turn Halloween Celebrations to Your Advantage
Halloween is a great opportunity for managers to create some buzz among employees and generate extra morale among teams, but it can be about more than just having a great time (although that’s important in itself for businesses). Halloween is also a creative occasion, and it can spark the artistic, free-thinking side of your workforce. What other occasions throughout the year involve so much time spend creating costumes, face painting and making special themed accessories? People love to pour their energy into making Halloween special. If you can harness some of this passion, it can give your workplace a massive boost.
How to Organize the Right Kind of Halloween Celebration
What can you do to stage a successful Halloween celebration? One thing to keep in mind is participation. Think about your workforce. Are they young, energetic and pop-culture obsessed? If so, they may well be keen on costume contests or Halloween video making competitions. Designate one of the days around Halloween as a costume day, allow staff to turn up as Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula or Darth Vader and your staff will appreciate the gesture. However, if your staff are middle-aged and have kids, you might want to try a different approach. In that case, a good idea is to use some resources to buy equipment and materials to make costumes and decorations for their children to enjoy. Staff can work together for an hour or so to help each other create items that their children will adore. That way, your company will also be contributing to family life in a way that doesn’t usually happen.
Beware of Halloween Disasters
However, some workforces just won’t be keen on Halloween at all. Not everyone is keen on an event that many religious people feel is satanic, and not all workforces have a light-hearted personality. If you do host a Halloween event, don’t force anyone to participate. Commit enough resources to make it meaningful, but make it clear that taking part is completely voluntary. Also, be very sensitive to PR problems. Halloween costumes that have racial or religious themes are always to be avoided, and it’s worth spelling this out to staff before the event. Be careful about how you publicize the event as well. You don’t want customers or senior managers to feel that the office is out of control or resources are being wasted. Then again it’s great to show off your team spirit, so feel free to Tweet photos, but be careful about the ones you select. Show your staff at their best, enjoying their time at work.
Not only is Halloween a superb chance to build team spirit, it sparks creativity, brings people together and shows staff that you are attentive to their needs. Emphasizing events like Halloween can also be a major positive for recruitment. While potential recruits derive plenty of information from tools like Experteer’s search and salary expectation tools, corporate culture is just as important. Halloween organizers just need to be careful about things that can go wrong. Apply some common sense, let everyone know what is acceptable and control the social media side of things, and your office Halloween event will be a huge success.