Had it been any other year, all the workplaces would have been decked up with thanksgiving posters, gratitude cards, and gifts by now. Some would have even planned a large outdoor party to celebrate this day. But like every other celebration this year, Thanksgiving also comes with a twist i.e., no grand gatherings, no clinking wine glasses, or no outdoor celebrations. Instead, now the only way people can celebrate is through that small window of video conferencing tools of their laptops or computers.

But would that stop people from celebrating the most awaited day of the year with their colleagues?

Well, the answer is no.

There are a few things that workplaces can still do to celebrate this day, irrespective of where they are. Nothing can stop people from celebrating happiness. Keeping up with this spirit, we bring you a few tips on how to celebrate thanksgiving virtually in your workplace and get your employees drenched in the mood of this celebration.

5 Ways to Celebrate This Thanksgiving the Pandemic Way

1.    Distribute Thanksgiving Gifts

This year has been full of surprises. Majorly not happy ones due to CoVID-19. Employees are constantly trying to strike a work-life balance with blurring boundaries. Yet, they continue to work hard and keep organizations thriving, all the while managing their struggles.

Therefore, there’s no better time than thanksgiving to pay gratitude for all the dedication employees have put in. To start with, make sure to reward all your employees with gifts to keep their morale high and their purpose to work intact. To make the process further easy, you can ask team leaders to take on this responsibility. In place of distributing a universal gift, take a step ahead and personalize it with items of employees’ choices. The more is your gift personalized, the more is its worth.

We know gifts might seem the most cliched of all the choices, yet it never fails to disappoint.

2.    Gratitude Session

No Thanksgiving celebration is complete without a gratitude session. So, shouldn’t be yours. Even if you are physically distanced right now, there’s nothing that should stop you from showing gratitude to people who have helped you in your work.

To embrace the spirit of the celebration, host a gratitude session where employees can raise a toast to their colleagues for their contribution and help. Ask everyone to volunteer in this session so that maximum employees receive gratitude notes.

Also, to keep this activity going for long, ask employees to share gratitude notes on company platforms like Workplace from Facebook, Slack, or other company portals. Use this opportunity to reward employees with gifts and coupons.

A simple thank you note can go a long way in keeping employee’s morale high and acknowledging their worth.

3.    Virtual Cooking Party

Thanksgiving Cooking

Even if your employees can’t meet for a feast, there’s a lot you can do to keep the excitement of the Thanksgiving turkey alive.

Organize a fun virtual cooking party where peers interact with each other and cook a turkey with the same recipe. You can also decide on another dish or let employees cook their favorite ones as per their choice.  Follow this by a team dinner or lunch where employees along with their families join in to celebrate the thanksgiving. This will give your thanksgiving celebrations a fun touch and will help employees connect in an informal setup.

4.    Host Friendly Competitions

Not everyone would be interested in cooking. Therefore, for others, conduct fun sessions such as Thanksgiving Bingo, Thanksgiving Trivia, Thanksgiving Posters, Guess the Photo, and more friendly contests that set the mood for the festivities and ensure there’s something for everyone.

Hosting these friendly virtual competitions is a great way to connect with peers on a lighter note and allows them to unwind from all the hassle of the work.

5.    Encourage Virtual Volunteering

Thanksgiving Volunteer

What’s better than volunteering for a cause this thanksgiving. Although with CoVID-19, your employees cannot afford to physically help the needy ones, yet there are virtual alternatives available through which you can be part of volunteer activity.

For example, Hire a Hero organization helps veterans and military spouses excel in their careers by conducting mock interviews, offering general counseling, or guiding federal sector applicants through the USA jobs portal and interview process.

United Nations Volunteers website includes a list of virtual volunteer opportunities at UN entities, civil society organizations, and governmental institutions. You can sort opportunities by type (for example, COVID-19 response, teaching, and training, project development, and more).

Bookshare This library helps people with dyslexia, learning disabilities, visual impairment, and physical disabilities read easier. As a virtual volunteer, you will use a scanner to upload or proofread scanned files from other volunteers and format them for better comprehensibility.

Read More: Returning to Work? Follow These Strategies to Bring Back Your Employees Safely

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