Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

4 tips for a fun – but appropriate – workplace Halloween celebration

When asked, most people would say they don’t like surprises at work. While a “typical” day is often welcome from both an employee and employer perspective, a nice surprise every now and then can actually help boost engagement. Halloween is a perfect time to surprise your employees, within reason. Your employees are working hard. Setting aside a few days a year for fun can really make a difference in morale and productivity. With costumes, pumpkin decorating and candy, Halloween is a perfect time to surprise your employees. Of course, Halloween can also present difficulties. People like to be a bit edgy and push the limits of what’s appropriate. Finding the right balance will help everyone enjoy the holiday celebration, while also maintaining an appropriate work atmosphere. According to U.S. News and World Report, this is a delicate proposition. Alison Green, author of “How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager,” says Halloween is one of the most challenging days of the year for managing an office.

“Halloween can be scary at work, and not just because of the sugar-induced behavioral changes in colleagues who overdo it on the candy,” Green stated. “It’s the one day of the year when the normal rules about what to wear to work don’t apply, and all too often, people end up inadvertently crossing lines that offend, embarrass or gross out their colleagues.”

Here are four things you can do for a happy but appropriate Halloween:

Hold spooktacular events Ceridian is proud of our culture – Fun@Work Teams across North America coordinate Halloween parties, pumpkin pie cook-off contests and more. Most major cities conduct Monster Dash 5Ks and Ceridian employees are encouraged to run in costumes. With Halloween on a Saturday this year, parties held later in the day on Friday work out well.

Bring out the sweets Candy is obviously a major Halloween staple, so provide holiday treats for employees to enjoy it if they choose. It’s a good idea to offer some healthy choices too and keep food allergies in mind. Offering caramel apples or apple cider is another alternative appropriate for the season.

Dress for success Costumes can be a lot of fun! At the same time, though, you don’t want anyone wearing a costume that will be obscene, inconsiderate or impede people’s ability to do work. As a company, we’re holding a global Halloween costume contest. Employees can tweet or instagram photos of themselves in costume using a designated hashtag or they can upload them in a special folder on our Intranet site. The photos are then uploaded to an album and everyone can “like” their favorite. The photo with the most “likes” wins a tasty Halloween treat basket. It’s easy, fun and brings our locations across the globe together.

Always respect diversity One last point – remember that not everyone celebrates Halloween, so be sensitive to those who don’t want to participate. For all who opt in, Halloween can be a jack o’ lantern of fun, but it’s important to respect people’s differences and let everyone make what they choose of the holiday.

This blog post has been adapted from a previous blog post: 4 tips for an appropriate yet fun Halloween celebration in the workplace

By Karen Huss, VP of Corporate Relations at Ceridian. Follow her on Twitter @KarenHuss.

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