As Halloween comes to an end and the season for turkey and football rolls in, it’s hard to ignore the exciting holidays that happen this time of year. From now until the New Year, we gather with family and friends for meaningful celebrations over food, drinks, and laughter. These gatherings, no matter how big or small, help us build stronger relationships with one another, and allow us to experience true connections with the people in our lives.

Well why should it be any different in the workplace? No, it isn’t exactly the same as regular family gatherings (sorry!), but a “work family” still plays an important role in a person’s life, and the opportunity to strengthen this relationship should not be missed by the organization. Like most, I spend more of my day with my coworkers than I do with my family (even if I do work with my sister). Coworkers become more than just that, they become friends, confidants, and a much needed support system.

At Next Level, I am fortunate enough to work with a great group of people, most of whom have become my friends, and some even my closest. And I wouldn’t want it any other way! There’s a reason that this is possible, however, and that’s because our company allows for and provides the opportunity to build meaningful workplace relationships. We’ve written before about the power of these relationships, and how engagement and recognition programs improve them, but there’s something else pretty much any company can do to build on employee engagement and foster better relationships among its people.

This week we celebrated Halloween at Next Level Performance. Each year, teammates who wish to participate dress in costume and “trick or treat” around the office, collecting candy from each other’s desks. And each year brings more participation (and more creative costumes!).

Later this month, we share Thanksgiving lunch where teammates gather in one big room to eat a nice holiday meal together, taking a break from the work day – and busy time of year – to enjoy one another, and connect over conversations that aren’t necessarily about work.

December brings even more fun with ugly sweater contests, cookie exchanges, and an annual holiday party. These are the types of activities we do here at Next Level all year round to keep teammates engaged with one another, building a stronger “work family.”

And almost any company can adopt this approach. Celebrating birthdays, acknowledging work milestones, throwing a potluck lunch, having a pancake breakfast, organizing a volunteer outing, and even trick or treating are all meaningful in creating a powerful connection between a company and its people, and it all means so much more when shared in a group setting. People are inherently social, so it makes sense that creating these social situations create a better culture at work.

You don’t need a big committee or a huge budget to implement these types of celebrations. Having willing leadership, a few people who are on board to organize, and the right attitude will create an environment where people will not only want to come to work, but will be excited to do so. Taking the opportunity to develop existing relationships and create new ones will increase employee engagement, their connection to the organization, and the company’s culture. So let’s make our “work family” relationships stronger than ever and watch our organizations flourish. After all, who doesn’t like a good reason to celebrate?

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About the author

Monica is the Marketing Manager at Next Level Performance, where she develops and manages all marketing programs. She has a passion for art, and - as a resident Millennial - offers important insight into Employee Engagement for this important generation of new arrivals. Favorite travel destination: Iceland.

Monica Hedden
Marketing Manager
mhedden@nxlperformance.com

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