December 2022 TogetHR Times

Happy holidays….

What should holiday parties look like for this year? The following are the top 5 suggestions from the internet for 2022:

1. Coordinate a Team-Building Charity Drive

Giving is better than receiving. And when your team bands together for a worthy cause, it can be just what Santa ordered to build teamwork and get in the holiday spirit. Many nonprofits are in need during the holiday season so the possibilities are endless to give back locally, nationally, or globally. From a company-wide scavenger hunt to give back to healthcare workers, to building bikes, bears, and more in The Big Give, Cooking for a Cause, or create gift baskets for animals in the shelter, we offer dozens of charitable events to help your teach celebrate while making a difference. For those working with a smaller budget, we recommend having each participants bring a couple of canned goods to the holiday party or office that can be donated to your local food shelter. These goods will surely make an impact on someone’s holiday dinner.

2. Plan a North Pole Potluck

When you think of the holiday season, it’s impossible not to think of all the lush cuisine that awaits. Whether that’s turkey, ham, slow-roasted prime rib, tamales, roast duck, and more, the varieties are endless. Plan a North Pole Potluck dinner for your team. Since holiday cuisine varies all over the world, your team members more than likely have unique family and cultural traditions to share. Encourage them to bring a dish that is unique to their family’s celebration, or one they enjoyed when they were growing up. You can also host a competition and work in teams where your group gets to prepare, enjoy and celebrate a serious multi-course gourmet meal in Team Cuisine. There’s no denying that food brings people together.

3. Host a Happy Holidays Happy Hour

This is an event that you can do in person or on a virtual platform. A Holiday Happy Hour can include any variety of drinks (with or without alcohol) and if virtual, then anything your employees choose on their own. And if you want something a bit more structured, opt for a fully facilitated mixology event. We offer a delightful Virtual Holiday Happy Hour, Team Mixology, Beer and Cheese tasting, or Wine Tasting events. Of course, no matter where you are, encourage moderation and safety-first–you don’t need any Blitzed Blitzens running around.

4. Have a Game Night

Hosting a game night is a great way to keep your team engaged and having fun throughout the entirety of the event. Here are a few festive game ideas to consider: Trivia Night – The best thing about trivia is you can customize it to be anything you want. We’ve seen teams do strictly holiday trivia, or throw in some questions about the company or participants.  Casino Night – Take your holiday office party to the next level with a thrilling Vegas-themed team building activity. Use funny money and laugh the night away playing a variety of casino inspired games. If you’re team is global, a virtual poker tournament might be a better option. Race Reindeer – It sounds silly, but time and time again we’ve seen teams have a blast at the races. Reindeer Games is full of energy, suspense, and ground-breaking holiday fun.

5. Organize a Hands-on Experience

One of our favorite office holiday parties teams love year after year is our Gingerbread House Hunters competition where each team is challenged to design and build an absolute showstopper of a house. If your team is planning on being virtual during the holidays, a Virtual Gingerbread Competition is a great way to have some fun and get families involved. The kids always love it! Other fun events include building chocolate bridges or hosting a cookie decorating competition.

To better prepare you for your office holiday party planning, we invite you to listen to the full podcast, “Holiday Party Planning 101” here. Also, be sure to explore TeamBonding’s events portfolio to find other engaging holiday team building events that will get your team pumped for the holidays.


Are Leaders Born or Made?

Are leaders born or made? It’s an important question, especially for those who aspire to head up teams or companies, be the face of a movement, or help others achieve greatness. Some believe that true leaders are born that way—naturally charismatic, influential, and inspiring individuals who are destined to make a mark. But while certain people may be naturally predisposed to leadership, just as they’re naturally predisposed to athleticism or musicality, we believe it’s absolutely possible to cultivate the characteristics and skills necessary to call yourself a leader. As legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi once said: “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”

So whether you were born with the “special sauce” or not, if you want to be a leader you’re going to have to work to develop and refine the characteristics of the greats. Read on to learn some of the specific traits that are critical for leadership—and how any one of us can work on nurturing them in our careers.

 Leadership Trait #1: A Clear, Achievable Vision

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Warren Bennis

True leaders have the capacity to develop a big vision—one that inspires and motivates their team—and turn it into reality. This requires not only a passion for the vision, but the clarity to communicate it and the intelligence and experience necessary to execute it.

 How to Develop this Trait:

Start by setting a clear vision for yourself. Pick a method that works best for you—whether it’s making a vision board or making lists—and start laying out some of your biggest goals right now. Make sure to be specific; for example, don’t just say you want to move forward in your career, say you want to land a new job at the manager level by the end of Q1. Ultimately, you want each goal you set to have a measurable outcome (like the number of freelance clients you bring in or the amount of money you want to help generate for the business) and a timeframe associated with them.

Once you have your inspiring goal ahead of you, lay out some baby steps or set up some habits to help you actually do it. The more you practice setting and achieving goals for yourself, the more you’ll be able to lead others to do this down the road.

Leadership Trait #2: The Ability to Influence and Inspire

“I think it’s important to move people beyond just dreaming into doing. They have to be able to see that you are just like them, and you made it.”

Sonia Sotomayor

Remember that your work and its success isn’t solely dependent on you; good leaders know how to rally the people around them toward the same overarching goal. If you want your team, your friends, or even random strangers on the internet to follow your lead, you need to get clear on where you want to take them, start down that path yourself, and be willing to hear them and help them along the way.

How to Develop this Trait:

Whenever you’re pitching an idea or talking about something you’ve worked on—whether it’s talking to your boss about a new way to approach a process or bringing a big new project to your team—see it as an important opportunity to practice this skill. Take some time to carefully plan out how you’re going to both help people emotionally connect with your idea (a.k.a., getting them excited!) and also convince them that it’s totally feasible with the help of some tactical steps for moving forward. Great ideas can fall to the wayside if they’re not communicated well, so be sure to practice and refine this! Giving your pitch to a friend or mentor before you give it to the powers that be can be a great way to figure out what you’re missing before it really matters.

Leadership Trait #3: The Capacity to Adapt

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.”

Douglas MacArthur

The only constant—in work and in life—is change, and a good leader knows how to navigate that inevitability. Change shouldn’t be viewed as an obstacle, but rather as a chance to be inventive, adaptable, and decisive in the face of uncertainty. It’s also the perfect opportunity to show others that they can rely on you to make big decisions.

How to Develop this Trait:

Change can be stressful, so one of the first steps in learning this skill is getting over the feeling of panic that can set in during a shifting situation—or at least getting more comfortable with the feeling. So, look for ways to put yourself in settings where change is happening, like in an organization that’s always innovating or on a brand new project at work. When you find your heart rate rising in the face of change, remind yourself that it’s an opportunity for you or your organization to become better than ever.

Once you feel comfortable, you can take it a step further and be an agent of change. Whether you’re in charge or not, seek out smart ways to shake things up, think outside of the box, or facilitate needed change, so you can practice and showcase your inventiveness and adaptability.

Leadership Trait #4: A Willingness to Accept Responsibility

“If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”

Margaret Thatcher

As the leader of a team, you assume responsibility not just for yourself and your work, but for the work, attitude, and accomplishments of others, too. This is no small feat; you are stepping up to ensure that you will not only show your team where to go and what to do, but also encourage them, answer questions, track progress, and provide motivation. Why? Because their success is your success—and their failure is yours, too.

How to Develop this Trait:

As long as you work with at least one other person, you can start working on this skill today! Every team project, client campaign, or even daily staff meeting is an opportunity for you to work with your colleagues as a group, offering support, answering questions, and asking how you can help.

And when things don’t go so smoothly? Don’t try to shove it under the rug—face your mistakes head on. Own up to what happened and apologize for it, come to the table with solutions for fixing the problem, and figure out what you can learn moving forward to keep it from happening again. As communication expert Amanda Berlin shares, “A lesser person might run and hide. By showing up, acknowledging your misstep, and offering solutions, you begin to show your character.” Your character as a true leader.

Leadership Trait #5: A Desire to Learn and Grow

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

John F. Kennedy

A constant desire to learn and grow is an important personal and professional characteristic, whether you want to be a leader or not. Leaders are curious, open-minded, and invested in their growth—the very best of them are always working to be better!

How to Develop this Trait:

In your daily life, seek out opportunities to learn more about how to be a leader. (Hey, just by reading this article, you’re off to a great start!) Is there an upcoming client campaign or team-building activity that you can offer to take the charge on? An organization you can work for that has programs to help employees grow? Are there leaders you admire who you can reach out to for coffee—maybe even finding your next mentor along the way? Any leadership books or podcasts you can consume in your free time?

There are so many opportunities for learning—you just have to have the motivation to pursue them.

Michael Jordan once said true leaders must “earn your leadership every day.” Doing this is a lifetime pursuit, and as with all personal and professional development, there will always be new skills to learn, new ways to strengthen your character, and new opportunities to put your leadership into practice.

Here’s to becoming more of a leader every day—whether you consider yourself to be “born with it” or not. Read the full article here: Leaders


How HR Can Help Small Businesses Prepare for a Recession

Small organizations have overcome a range of HR challenges in recent years, from managing through a pandemic and converting employees to remote and hybrid work to talent shortages, widespread resignations, and inflation’s impact on compensation and benefits. For those who work at small companies, these challenges can be even more difficult.

A recession likely is looming, according to many economists who predict that rising inflation will slow business revenues through much of next year and prompt layoffs, some of which have already been announced at large companies such as Amazon, Meta and Disney.

While larger companies often are better suited to survive a downturn, small organizations can find it much more challenging, which is why many are taking steps now to prepare. The following are several ways in which small businesses can gear up for a possible recession while keeping employees’ best interests in mind.

Cut Back on Spending

When a recession is on the horizon, smaller organizations should immediately review all spending and look for ways to reduce or eliminate unnecessary costs. Keeping compensation flat and operate as lean as possible. Enhance your product and your customer base. Ensure that those loyal customers will carry you through the lean times.

Reduce Bonuses

To many small employers, retaining their workforce is of greatest importance.  This is because the cost of recruiting and training new employees is very high. So even in a recession, it will be cheaper to give existing employees raises than to lose them and try to replace them. 

Consider Raising Prices 

Rather than laying off any employees, some businesses are raising their prices to make up for lost revenue. Providing excellent customer service after raising prices is key to not only retaining employees, but to also retaining those valuable customers.

Research Employee Needs

If you aren’t sure how to proceed when attempting to prepare for a recession, consider asking your employees.

According to the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, which measures employee trust in the workplace, 90 percent of people want organizations to protect the well-being and financial security of their employees and suppliers, even if it means suffering financial losses.

Read the full article here: SHRM Small Business and Recession


Top 4 Employment Trends in 2023

Qualtrics spoke with nearly 30,000 employees around the world to measure and understand how their experiences at work have changed, and to highlight the most critical actions organizations can take to attract, retain and engage their people on a more human level.

#1- instill confidence that you’re running a successful business

#2- employees are setting work/life balance boundaries

#3- bad processes and inefficient systems are fueling burnout

#4- employees want to work for a company with integrity and purpose, and they crave growth and development that fulfill, challenge and motivate them

Download and read the full report here: Qualtrics Report


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Now Button