You can never have too many opportunities to find common ground when your company is built around a globally distributed team. Business and cultural alignment are largely one-and-the-same. And the holidays are a perfect time to bring all of this together. At Prialto, the holidays are a slow time as the executives we support turn their attention to family, reflection and their own quiet planning. We follow their lead: We take the time to plan, to reflect, and to share among ourselves.
Here are three meaningful ways we’ve found to celebrate the holidays with a global team.
1) Show Gratitude
Though you should show appreciation for your team on a regular basis, the holidays are a great time to make an intentional effort to tell each of your employees that you’re grateful for the contributions they make to your company.
This can be brought into your planning process. As you ask your team what they think they can achieve next year, remind them of all they have achieved over the past months. Show your appreciation by incorporating their views into next year’s plan.
If offering gifts, be sure to tune into your employees’ personal interests as much as possible when making the selection. This does more than putting your money where your mouth is; it shows that you care enough to pay close attention to who your teammates are as people.
2) Reflect on How Far Your Team Has Come
As the year comes to a close, most leaders spend a lot of time reflecting on the year’s metrics and making plans to improve the following year. Instead of solely focusing on top-level metrics with your leadership team, take time to reflect on the progress that individual employees and teams have made and let them know that you see their growth.
If you are a smaller company, you’ll likely have missed the mark on several of the goals you set forth a year ago. But this is not time for disappointment. Give everyone a break by acknowledging the difficulty of prediction when your enterprise is charting new territory.
Focus, instead, on how much has been achieved. And, then, maintain accountability in the most positive, forward looking way possible by challenging everyone to be more predictive in their upcoming goal setting.
3) Bring Holiday Cheer into Your Offices
To help employees from around the world experience the joy of the holiday season, each of our offices hosts events throughout November and December to give employees opportunities to engage in a mix of North American and local traditions.
For example, last year, our Manila office celebrated by hosting a Thanksgiving-style potluck containing a mix of American and Filipino foods that kicked off with every person sharing what they’re grateful for.
Later in the season, they also had a wreath-decorating competition so people could show off their creative skills and decorate the office.
These events are especially fun because they give us a chance both for sharing different traditions AND mixing traditions. It is exciting, for example, for our various offices to share how they celebrate the common Christmas and New Years holidays. But it is even more rewarding to see how they adopt traditions from each other. Our Manila team, for example, has begun celebrating Thanksgiving with their own big meal. They don’t take much from our Pilgrim story. But the concept of giving thanks resonates well for them.
They believe the concept that giving thanks creates joy. And this expression of theirs creates a cascade of joy across our Prialto world in way that brings us together both professionally and personally.
About the Author: Eric Taussig is Prialto's founder/ CEO. He speaks and writes about the future of work, global workforce, and employee happiness issues. His ideas have been featured on National Public Radio and in places like Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and Inc. Magazine.