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Remote Staff Engagement: 24 Festive Ideas

Seminar: 18th Jan, 2022

Join us for an insightful seminar on embracing the new world of work in 2022

Our expert FD People team will provide their insight and practical solutions to approaching new ways of working.

Christmas gifts and laptop

With recent Public Health guidance to postpone Christmas events, many businesses will be left wondering how to engage with their staff remotely ahead of the upcoming festive period. 

Fear not, FD People have put together our top 12 online festive events and 12 additional festive ideas you can quickly implement to spread a bit of Christmas cheer amongst your employees. 


The Importance of Festive Engagement

The annual Christmas party is often central to workplace culture, and a key staff engagement tool for many employers.   Whether it’s a lunch, a drinks reception, or a fun activity, a firm’s festive event can be synonymous with creating strong social bonds with colleagues.  It’s a chance for employees to spend time together on a social level, and for senior leaders to reflect on collective achievements and thank staff for their hard work. 

At this time of year, we often read articles about the risks of a Christmas event, mainly focused on the overconsumption of alcohol at work parties leading to more than a few sore heads the following day.  Whilst these risks need to be managed, the link between staff events and staff engagement cannot be underestimated in achieving a happy, productive workforce.  

Public Health Scotland advised on 9 December 2021 that face-to-face Christmas parties should be cancelled in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.   Employers will naturally feel obliged to follow the current guidance with many postponing pre-arranged events to 2022. 

It would be very tempting for employers just to move whatever restaurant or event bookings they have to a few months away, and leave everyone to switch on their out of office until the New Year, but this could be a missed opportunity for some much needed staff engagement after a tough year of restrictions.     




12 Ideas for Online Festive Engagement

We have all learned in the last few years that in-person events are infinitely better for developing relationships, but alas that’s not possible this year.  With a bit of imagination, online activities can be engaging, and we have included our top 12 online events you could easily implement to provide your staff with the opportunity to let their hair down:    

1. Cheese and wine night

Arrange for staff to nominate their favourite cheeses and wines, create a shopping list for people to buy in advance, and all your left to do is have Brie-illiant night – sorry for the cheesy pun!

2. Christmas Caroling

Gather together any of your employees who can sing or play an instrument to put on a carol concert – it might take a bit of persuasion but it’s sure to get everyone in the Christmas spirit. 

3. Comedian

Laughter is the best medicine after a challenging year for many, host a comedy night with either staff volunteers or a professional comedian.

4. Cocktail making

Get the festivities started with a cocktail making class – there are lots of options online that can be sent directly to your door. 

5. Cook-A-long

Host a cookery class where staff watch and learn how to make a range of festive dishes from Baked Alaska to Christmas Cake.    

6. Crafting event

Let staff showcase their creative skills with any kind of crafting event, from wreath making to bauble decorating. 

7. Fancy dress event

Organise an online get together with a fancy dress competition – anything goes from Christmas hats to favourite Christmas film characters. 

8. Festive Bingo

All you need is a bingo machine, cards and some festive prizes, and your team can get their dabbers at the ready!

9. Games Night

Have a rake through the board games you have at home, there are lots of games that can be converted to being equally fun online. 

10. Magician

Many magicians have moved to working online during the pandemic, so why not organise for one to come along to an online event to entertain your staff…Christmas is the most magical time of the year after all. 

11. Mince Pie Morning

Online coffee mornings can be a great way for colleagues to catch up – why not arrange a mince pie morning to let everyone chat on their Christmas plans. 

12. Quiz

If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a quiz, especially if it is Christmas-themed.  




12 Additional Festive Engagement Ideas

Events are not the only way to engage with your team at Christmas, below are our top 12 additional ideas for festive engagement with your employees: 

1. Cards

Our world of work is dominated by emails and online messaging, but you can’t beat receiving a handwritten card in the post.   Write a personalised message thanking your staff for their hard work over the year.  

2. Charitable initiative

Christmas is a time for giving, and promoting a charitable initiative is a great way to get staff working together to give towards a good cause.  You could do anything at all from donating gifts to a children’s charity to contributing to a food bank or homeless charity.

3. Christmas Cookbook

Lots of us have a favourite Christmas recipe, so you could ask staff to nominate theirs and develop a Christmas Cookbook which can either be published online or professionally printed.   

4. Christmas Jumpers

Host a Christmas jumper day, or even Christmas jumper week, and hold a competition for the best and worst jumpers!  

5. Decorations

Encourage your team to decorate their desk at home – a bit of tinsel will get everyone in the festive spirit whilst working at home. 

6. Films

We all have a favourite Christmas film so get staff to vote for theirs, it’s a great way to engage with each other. 

7. Fitness challenge

A walking challenge will get everyone outside and working off those Christmas carbs, but beware counting steps or distances can get competitive!  

8. Personalised gift

It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, but there is nothing better than receiving a gift from your boss at Christmas, and all the better if it is personalised. 

9. Pet Photo Competition

Why not run a festive pet photo competition, staff will love to share pictures of their pooches in fancy dress.       

10. Raffle

A raffle is an ideal way to raise funds for charity – ask your senior people to donate prizes and set up an online fundraising page for staff to purchase tickets.      

11. Secret Santa

Secret Santa is the perfect way to involve the whole team in coming up with gifts for each other, and there are plenty of online tools available for this.  

12. Selection box

Chocolate and Christmas go hand in hand, send your staff a small selection box in the post and make their day.  


Further Support

Season’s Greetings from FD People to all our clients and contacts!    

The FD People team would be delighted to discuss effective staff engagement in more detail with you – please get in touch by emailing enquiries@fdpeople.co.uk or by calling 0141 221 2984.

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