How Your Company Celebrates Halloween Says A Lot About Your Culture
As Halloween approaches, you have more to consider than what to hand out in the neighborhood if you’re in any way involved with your company’s employee engagement. That’s because, whether you realize it or not, the way your company celebrates the more “fun” holidays like Halloween says a lot about your company’s culture because nothing is required; whether your company does anything at all during Halloween is actually 100% optional from both the organization’s perspective and the employee perspective.
So what kind of Halloween party will you facilitate at work and what does it say about you as an employer? What does it say about your people? Here are a few ways to look at it:
The Costume Party
If you have a costume party (and lots of people willingly participate), you have a vibrant, fun, innovative company culture that’s focused on inclusion, individuality, and creativity. You trust your employees to work hard enough to earn some fun time, and the fun times make work enjoyable. You likely have hired sociable, outgoing staff and seek out customers who love to do business with unique organizations with personality.
If your organization hosts a Halloween potluck, your culture is all about relationships. Potlucks represent work teams: each individual contribution is unique and reflective of the contributor’s culture, background, and personality, and the result is a delicious, diverse feast that represents the (ideally) diverse, successful team. The meal itself promotes getting to know one another, relationship building, and interdepartmental collaboration.
Bonus points if you encourage Halloween-themed contributions, like spaghetti brains or baby carrot fingers.
The Fall Festival
If your Halloween party isn’t really a Halloween party, it’s a clear indication that you promote and support diversity (and possibly that you’re a little risk-adverse). Your company culture is collaborative, respective, and reverent and you attract people from rich, diverse backgrounds to bring new viewpoints. Your team is innovative and accepting.
The Giving-Back Halloween Party
Halloween parties that involve a food drive for the local food pantry, a costume drive for kids in need, a community clean-up day, or a care-package assembly for the troops, your organization practices what it preaches. This focus on philanthropy and using your power for good in the world is a great tool for attracting top Millennial talent and then retaining them long-term. It also builds a culture of caring and giving and supports meaningful work and high levels of engagement.
The Trick-or-Treat Party
If your organization’s Halloween party is centered around offering a safe place for local kids to trick-or-treat, you’re a family-friendly organization focused on providing work-life balance for your employees. Chances are good that you have recruitment and retention of moms and dads down to an art, and not only do they love working for you, but they put their heart into what they do and contribute to your high engagement numbers.
The Clients-Too Halloween Party
If your clients are invited to celebrate with you (perhaps they get a perk for wearing a costume or you invite them for Halloween-themed treats), your company culture is laid back and customer-focused. You attract down-to-earth, sociable employees and clients, and the harmony between the two promotes successful relationships and ongoing sales.
The Invisible Halloween Party
If you choose to have no Halloween party at all, your culture might either be intensely (over) focused on results, intensely risk-adverse, or just plain boring. It’s important to remember that investing in team-building exercises and celebrations can actually improve results across different aspects of the organization. Consider starting small, with a potluck or allowing employees to wear costumes for a day, to see how it impacts your culture.
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