The holidays are around the corner, and that can change expectations around the workplace. While this time of year brings about great stress, it can also end with high energy and new expectations. With that in mind, what better way to end the year than on a high note, leaving your employees with good stories to tell over the break or eager to return to work once they’ve rested?
It might seem difficult to make the holiday newsletter stand out from those that are sent out the rest of the year, but there are several ways to spice up the usual reminders and information. The holidays are worth celebrating, and so are your employees. Here are some suggestions on how to make sure your company newsletter emphasizes your staff this holiday season.
Add in Recognition
Whether this is part of your regular newsletter or not, it’s always a good idea to recognize employees’ accomplishments in a public setting. Research has shown that businesses who regularly recognize their employees are more likely to perform better as a whole organization.
While it is important to make sure regular appreciation is shown for employees, the holiday newsletter is littered with opportunities to make these shoutouts stand out.
With end of the year reports being tallied and numbers closing out, accomplishments are easier than ever to narrow down. Make sure your employees feel seen and recognized for the hard work they’ve put in this year, allowing everyone to feel good about themselves and their contributions.
If you’re worried about overlooking some vital folks, you could break down your acknowledgements by departments and specify what the teams bring to the organization.
Either way, make sure everyone is mentioned in some way so that nobody feels left out or devalued.
Use Photos from the Holiday Party
If your business is throwing a holiday bash, include that in the newsletter. Be sure to allow employees to view photos that were taken. If you send out this newsletter before the party takes place, follow up with a link to a cloud site or other private forum where the photos will be uploaded.
People love looking back on memories in this way, and giving employees the opportunity to relive those moments will ensure that folks leave for the holiday break with a sense of community.
For those concerned about engagement, it is important to note that people are more likely to click through emails with fewer images. Instead of embedding images directly into the newsletter, provide a clear Call to Action that directs them to a collection of photos.
Include a Highlight Reel of Accomplishments
Even better than including party photos could be a video that showcases all the accomplishments of the team that year. Meeting business goals can’t happen without hard work, so to emphasize any shoutouts to specific teams or employees, it can be a great idea to create a reel that highlights the moments from the year that really stood out.
You don’t even need specific video footage. These days, it’s simple to compile photos, images, text, and sounds to make short videos that get your point across.
Be sure to include a big thank you at the end so everyone featured feels appreciated and valued as they view the memories of the year.
New Hellos and Goodbyes
Every year, it’s natural for long tenured employees to retire. A newsletter is the perfect place to celebrate these people and all they have brought to the team. Seeing how they will be missed not only reinforces employee value, it is also a way to keep everyone informed on the latest staff changes.
Likewise, you can also use the holiday newsletter to introduce new hires who will be joining the team. This is a great way to break the ice so that employees know who to expect when they return to the office. It also ensures that nobody will be blindsided by any unexpected new faces they may be greeted by when the break is over.
Share Holiday Recipes
Add a personal touch by including favorite holiday recipes from your staff to share in the newsletter. Poll the office and see who may have a meal or two that they make every year.
Or maybe one of your employees regularly brings brownies into the office, and now they have the opportunity to share that coveted recipe with everyone. Even better is to include some personal stories with the recipes.
Food is at the heart of so many memories, and those sharing their favorite recipes might have some great stories to share with them.
If you really want to go the extra mile, create a company cookbook to attach as a PDF that employees can download and use at home. Including tidbits like this can help break up the usual newsletter format and keep employees engaged. It’s also another way to recognize employees outside of what they bring to the workplace, especially if what they bring happens to be brownies.
Don’t forget to keep your team members with dietary restrictions in mind! If the cookbook is full of meat-heavy dishes, it can be ostracizing for people with allergies or other aversions to meat. Folks with these limitations are well aware that not everyone shares them, but the extra mindfulness brings a lot to your inclusion efforts.
Bring Along Furry Friends
Perhaps you haven’t had a holiday party yet. Or, your company may not take a lot of photos. If your newsletter is lacking in the pictures department, consider having a pet showcase.
Ask your staff to send in pictures of their pets in holiday sweaters, hats or just generally being cute and create a collage of them in the newsletter.
Celebrating your employees means celebrating their families, too, and that includes pets of all kinds. Your staff will enjoy clicking through the various funny and cute images of animals dressed up for the holiday season.
Tailor to Your Company Culture
These are just a few of many potential ideas to include in your holiday newsletter that will ensure your employees are celebrated as much as the holidays.
You want your employees to feel seen, even if they don’t celebrate any particular holidays this time of year. You also want your employees to build those bonds with each other.
Showing photos from a team event, shouting out great accomplishments and examples of teamwork and sharing bits of their personal lives through pets and food are great ways to welcome the parts of your team that aren’t just there to work.
The most important thing is that your staff leave for the break feeling valued. Holidays can be tough for many, with extra stress along the way. If your employees feel a sense of community and belonging in the workplace, it can make the holidays that much easier for everyone.