It’s the most wonderful time of the year — but it can also be the most hectic as your dealership plans for the next. These long days at work can make your staff feel like it’s not quite the holidays.
But you can change this dreary feeling, and shuffle in some holiday spirit at your dealership! Here are 5 easy ways you can help spread cheer and appreciation to your dealership’s staff:
1. Decorate the Office
One of the simplest ways to spread holiday cheer at your dealership is to put up festive decorations in the office!
Your employees spend long days at the dealership — sometimes they spend most of their day at work. Make them feel more at home by buying holiday decorations and encouraging them to bring in their own!
You can even make decorating the dealership an event by setting a date and time for all employees to decorate as a team! Here’s an easy way to set up a decorating event:
Share the “Holiday Decorating Extravaganza” event on everyone’s calendars
Have all the decorations at the office ready to go a week or so before the event
Bring in edible goodies (cookies, drinks, candy canes, etc.) the day of the event
Play some festive holiday music!
Easy-peasy, right? Decorating doesn’t have to be expensive or boring — in fact it can actually be fun and good for your employees. Use this small activity as an opportunity to enhance your dealership’s culture and reward your staff for a great year’s work.
Also, be sure to check out this Buzzfeed article for some decorating DON’TS and a good laugh!
2. Have a Gift Exchange
Another way to help your employees embrace the spirit of camaraderie is to host a gift exchange at your dealership.
Gifting is a simple way to show gratitude, goodwill, and appreciation towards others — so why not spread the joy in the workplace by hosting a “Secret Santa” exchange!
While I’ve heard reasons to avoid gift exchanges, such as people not receiving their gifts or employees not participating for economic reasons, a well-structured exchange can help you avoid that!
Here are some simple considerations to ensure a successful gift exchange:
Have a price limit for the cost of gifts. Ask for pricing suggestions from employees, and then set an explicit limit in the rules.
Set deadlines for employees to bring in gifts to avoid any mishaps where some employees don’t receive a gift!
Have employees list 3 gifts they would like on the paper that goes into the Santa hat, so that the person who picks their name knows what they like.
OR set fun gift rules like homemade-only gifts, edibles-only gifts, or whatever-fits-in-a-holiday-mug-only gifts.
3. Host a Team Dinner
Few things bring people together the way food does — especially during the holidays.
Pecan pie, cranberry sauce, eggnog, and more pecan pie. It’s the best time of the year to eat and be merry. The best part about a holiday meal is that you can have it at home AND at work!
Treating your dealership’s employees to a holiday dinner is an easy way to spend quality time with your team, relax, and enjoy an excuse to eat a delicious holiday meal.
Depending on your budget, some of your dinner options could include:
Making reservations at a nice restaurant and taking your team out for dinner
Having food catered at the dealership (or a nice venue)
Hosting a holiday potluck where everyone brings in a home-cooked dish
Allow your employees to bring a piece of home to work (literally!) by allowing them to share a meal and bond during the holidays.
4. Give Back to the Community
Earlier this year, I mentioned 4 great reasons why your dealership’s team should volunteer and give back to the community — and a big reason is that giving back boosts employee morale and well-being.
I find this especially important during the holidays, when work days seem a little longer.
In the spirit of spreading cheer this season, why not encourage your team to make a positive impact in your local neighborhood?
Allow your team to volunteer at a local non-profit organization for the homeless, host a clothing and toy drive for less fortunate children, have your team write holiday letters to troops overseas…there are so many little ways to make a big difference for others during the holidays.
If you’re raising funds, get creative! Host an “Ugly Sweater Day”, where your employees pay $2 to wear the ugliest holiday sweater and jeans — and have the proceeds go towards your charity of choice.
The point is to empower your employees to give back and feel great about making a positive change in your community.
5. Give Employees Some ‘Family Time’
As I previously mentioned, many of your dealership’s employees put in a lot of hours at work, which can make finding a work-life balance difficult for them during the holidays.
Consider that some of your employees may live far from home, or that they may have to work longer days and see their family less.
So give your employees the best gift this season: time for family. Here are three ways you can thoughtfully give your team some much-needed family time at the dealership:
Schedule short video conference opportunities for employees to call family and friends that live too far to see in person.
Provide holiday cards, envelopes, and stamps for your team to send greeting cards to their loved ones. You can even purchase inexpensive e-card options instead!
Offer them a day of childcare so employees who are parents can get some holiday shopping done.
Little acts of kindness and acknowledgement towards your staff will go a long way this season. Remember dealership holidays aren’t just for handing out those bonuses — it’s a time for giving and showing your staff appreciation for all of their hard work this past year!