8 Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Office
Thanksgiving Party in the Office. Photo: Time Out

Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds us to be thankful for everyone and everything we have in our lives. It’s an important time to reflect on your year, be together with family, friends, and coworkers, and give back to the greater community. While Thanksgiving is typically celebrated at home, there are still ways to bring the giving spirit to the office. Plus, there’s nothing like an office potluck to bring everyone together!

Host a Potluck

“Every Thanksgiving, Fundera has a potluck where every employee brings a dish their family enjoys for Thanksgiving. All participants log their name and dish in a Google Sheet so we can track what's being brought and the day of the potluck, we have a large spread of great dishes from all over the country. It's a fun time for everyone and an event that the whole company looks forward to.” — Nicolas Straut, Senior Marketer at Fundera

Host a Potluck with a Twist

“At Tandem Interactive, we have a pre-Thanksgiving potluck, but the one catch is that it has to be anything but Thanksgiving food. Last year people brought in everything from soup to homemade bolognese.” — Andrea Bailey, Organic Search Specialist at Tandem Interactive

Get in the Giving Spirit

“This year to celebrate Thanksgiving, Namely had a Month of Giving, where we announced our longterm non-profit partners whose missions and values aligned with our company’s. We plan to set up volunteer events consistently with those charities in the future. We also set up a contest where employees who have been appreciated on our Namely newsfeed would be entered into a raffle to win money to donate to a charity of their choice. It was a great way to combine charitable giving with our employee recognition strategy.” — Kristie Kuo, Talent & People Associate at Namely.

Tell your story

Remember that play in elementary school where you had to dress up and tell the story of Thanksgiving? This year, try telling your own story instead. Recruit a few employees to help you write and perform your company’s story in front of coworkers. Dress up, include some company jokes, ask for audience interaction – make it a fun and fresh way to celebrate your company’s history.

Best Ways to Make Thanksgiving Party in the Office

Photo: Blog Namely

Organize a Charity Drive

During the holidays, it’s important to remember that there are those less fortunate who could benefit from your help. Try organizing an office food drive and donate cans to a local food bank or ask employees to bring in gently used hats, scarves, and gloves to donate to a nearby shelter. If you want to take a more hands-on approach, organize a day of volunteering with your employees. Not only does your business get to give back to the community, but your employees get to feel they are making a difference and helping those in need.

Write Thank You Cards

“Several years ago we started the unique Thanksgiving tradition. Each fall we create and assemble handcrafted Thanksgiving cards for our clients. Over the course of two weekends, we design and create 250 handmade cards. We invite our families to help (my thirteen-year-old daughter loves it) and bond over food, drinks, and football. Our clients tell us that they appreciate the time and thought we put into the cards. We hope it reminds them just how much we care.” — Mark C. McKaig, CRPC(r), Partner at Centurion Wealth.

Hold a recipe contest

To get your employees in the Thanksgiving spirit (not to mention save a few bucks on catering costs), hold a recipe contest where employees bring in their favorite Thanksgiving dish. Have scorecards for your employees to rate the items – winner gets to go home early!

Thank Your Employees

“This year we plan to pay a tribute of 'thanks' with our workplace suggestion box. We have a suggestion box in our office kitchen where employees can leave anonymous feedback on things they like/dislike about our company and propose new ideas for us to implement. In an effort to ensure our employees know 'we hear them' and we are most thankful for all they do, we will be showcasing how management has responded to past suggestions. We hope this tribute of thanks engages our employees and ultimately drives participation.” — Samantha Lambert, Director of Human Resources at Blue Fountain Media

Best Ways to Make Thanksgiving Party in the Office
Photo: Workbright

Give Employees Time Off

“I understand many people have personal obligations and expectations to meet during the holiday season and that having a boss that is supportive of those needs increases productivity and overall work satisfaction. So, I let people have the day after Thanksgiving and the time between Christmas and New Year’s off. I also grant additional time off to employees who need and am more flexible with working hours during that period. I notice my workers come back from the holidays feeling refreshed, happy, and ready to work.” — Jacob Dayan of Finance Pal.

Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well.
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