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On the eve of one of the coldest nights in recorded history, the cavemen were unsure if they would even survive the night.
They lived in empty caves and wore animal skin. The piercing cold temperatures would present quite a challenge.
So, what did they do?
Using stones and bones as tools, they did what they could to build a better shelter and a bigger fire, and they huddled next to their families to stay warm throughout the night.
When they awoke the next morning and realized they had survived, they were overjoyed.
They had a deep yearning to celebrate with the other hunter-gatherers who had survived the night too. They joined together around a fire, told stories, and enjoyed a feast of meat and fruit.
For cavemen, being accepted as part of a tribe was literally crucial to survival.
Since the beginning of time, humans have been hard-wired to strengthen their ties and build a community.
Fast forward 2.6 million years and you’ll see that most cultures today, regardless of social or economic structure, still celebrate in some form or another.
The holiday season is the perfect opportunity for a company to strengthen employee relationships in an engaging and positive way. Why not take advantage of it?
However, fostering that positive environment means more than just ham and a game of Secret Santa.
Since we live in a culturally diverse society, the best way to embrace the values and traditions of our employees without excluding anyone is to keep the focus on celebration and community.
As consultant Sondra Thiederman, PhD, author of Making Diversity Work, says, "Focus more on what we share and less on where we differ."
Shared experiences help create a feeling a commonality, which extend beyond any religion or belief. When we feel part of a larger collective group, we are happier overall.
The mere act of getting everyone in one room together to reflect on the year and praise achievements, is a celebration in itself. Remember that it's important to celebrate big wins and the little wins otherwise the day just becomes a long list of to dos!
One of the key pillars from the science of happiness, which can be found in our Hello Doc, is a sense of connectedness. We are social animals and we thrive on connection.
We talk more about this concept in our blog about happiness and engagement.
“It’s not enough to get along with the people at work. Close and authentic bonds build meaning and business results. In fact, having a best friend at work increases engagement an incredible seven-fold. And when 6 out of 10 employees have a “best friend” at work, organizations see 36% fewer safety incidents and 12% higher profit.”
Work gatherings should aim to create this sense of connectedness. Think about the gap between leadership and employees. Some coworkers across various departments never leave their desk to interact with one another.
Many employees actually look forward to mingling with managers and C-level. Keep in mind that they are eager to connect on a more human level, work stress aside.
Positive interactions between managers and peers can help employee retention, strengthen bonds, and it can greatly improve morale.
It has been proven that when morale is high, productivity and creativity go up. As the saying goes, “The cost is high, when morale is low.”
According to a survey by Tinypulse, a massive 79% of employees don't feel valued for their work.
Some companies opt out of having a work holiday party to save money, but it should be seen as an investment. By doing so we can allow for opportunities to improve company culture, validate employees and encourage a sense of connectedness. It will pay off in the long run.
Take the opportunity this holiday season to have a festive gathering, because no matter how big or small, it will send the important message which says, “You’re a part of this team and we appreciate you.”
Will your company be celebrating the year together? Let us know in the comments below!
“Me Caveman. We Celebrate. Me bring pie!”
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Delivering Happiness!
Curious about how DH can help you establish your own sustainable and happier culture? Download our Hello Doc today.