The pace in the workplace slows down during the holidays. From holiday cookies in the breakroom to employee time off, not as much gets accomplished—or does it? Some supervisors bemoan lost productivity during the holiday season. Insightful managers recognize that the holidays are important times for teams to connect and employees to recharge. Here are four ways to celebrate the season as a team:

1. Personalized Potluck. Food is laced throughout our holiday memories. From grandma’s Jell-O salad to the perfect challah, there are some tastes that transport you to holidays shared around the table. Plan a potluck and invite employees bring in their favorite holiday dish, complete with the recipe to share

2. Cookie competition. If there’s anything that Great British Bake-Off has taught us, it’s that competitions can bring us together. You might even invite colleagues from another institution to attend the party and serve as judges, increasing the event’s outreach. 

3.  Celebrate storytelling. The holidays are a perfect time to get to know one another. Choose a prompt, such as “what was your favorite holiday memory?” Or, “what was the best holiday gift you ever received?” and invite employees to chime in. Feature responses in a newsletter or on a bulletin board.

4. Give together. The holidays are a time to recognize how much we’ve been given and, in turn, share with others. Select a worthy cause that your team can contribute to as a group. From providing access to clean energy for learning with SolarBuddy to making a microloan with Kiva to helping a child with Make-A-Wish to shopping for a family in need with Angel Tree, there are so many ways to make a difference. 

As you plan new workplace traditions, be sure to honor and amplify existing ways your office connects throughout the holiday season. With intentionality and creativity, your team can start 2023 energized and ready to tackle new challenges.