Does the idea of team building make you shudder? Have you had night terrors and broken out in a cold sweat just thinking about productivity?
Being a business owner can be a very terrifying thing, but it doesn’t have to be all tricks and no treats. Halloween is a good excuse to relax the tie, take your hair out of its tight bun, and let loose.
Find out how you can use this holiday to improve office morale and employee focus with a few easy and fun games and activities.
#1: Host a Costume Contest
Does it really matter if your secretary is dressed up as a lobster for the day? As long as they’re still greeting guests, fielding calls, and entering data, they can be a crazy crustacean all they want. Costumes for Halloween won’t stop your team from rocking it out for the day. Plus, it could warrant some good laughs, start conversations, and yield a pretty good competition.
According to a study from the University of Warwick, happiness leads to a 12% spike in employee productivity. Setting up a makeshift photo booth and giving a gift card to the best costume is a great way to earn smiles. Sounds like that lobster’s really cooking now!
#2: Decorate the Office
You can transform the office into a haunted house or be a little whimsical. It really just depends if you’re feeling more like Casper the Friendly Ghost or The Spider Demon in Poltergeist. Put cute witches and pumpkins on the walls and desks, or go full on creepy and decorate in chains, severed limbs, and ghoulish decor.
A little gesture like this goes a long way for employee retention. In fact, highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies. What’s more engaging than a bat swooping over your head?
#3: Serve a Bone-Chilling Breakfast
Halloween is all about the delicious treats. Set out a breakfast of apple cider donuts, pumpkin coffee cake, and hot chocolate with mini marshmallows for all your employees. Everyone will go back to work with a full belly and a big smile on their face.
Think about this: 67% of employees are “extremely” or “very happy” with their current job when they’re offered free food. Halloween is the perfect time to make that happen, since the food is so darn good.
#4: Paint Pumpkins
Give your entire team a chance to express their creativity with baby pumpkins, acrylic paints, and fun carving stencils. Your team can decorate their jack-o’-lanterns during break, lunch, or while you hold a team meeting.
This activity won’t cause too much distraction or mess. Not to mention, companies that have a bit of fun have 2.5x higher revenues than those other sticks in the mud. Pumpkin painting for Halloween is a step in the right direction.
#5: Offer a Guessing Game
Leave a jar full of candy, mini pencils, and scraps of paper by the door. As your employees come in for the day, they can guess how much candy is sitting in the jar. The winner receives the entire candy jar as a prize!
It doesn’t require much effort on your part to set up this guessing game. You also get the added bonus of getting your employees brains churning first thing in the morning. The Healthy, a health & wellness website from Reader’s Digest, suggests that a fast logic-based game is a great way to boost your brain before work.
#6: Mummify the Boss
Turn the head honcho into a mummy by wrapping them in toilet paper or streamers. You’ll get the satisfaction of making the higher-up look goofy, and they’ll get the chance to have a little fun. It’s a win-win!
Harvard Business Review found that 58% of people trust strangers more than they trust their own boss. The good news is this activity may just boost that number a little bit. After all, it takes a lot of trust on both ends to wrap up the boss in toilet paper. The employees need to be gentle and not grab anything from the floor in the bathroom, while the boss needs to stand completely still the entire time.
#7: Give Out Treat Bags
Okay, so handing out spider cupcakes or witch cookies might completely nullify that step challenge you all did as an office. Still, though, these treats are going to make your employees feel like kids in a candy store.
If you really want to wow your team, kick the treat-giving up a notch with customized Halloween items. An orange tote bag with your company name or a glow-in-the-dark water bottle has the added bonus of also being used outside of the office. This means your employees will be spreading the word about your business even during the off-hours.
#8: Throw a Halloween Party
Maybe Halloween falls on a Friday, and you just had a crazy good week. Dedicate the afternoon to a little office party. You can simply have a few decorations and some food or go all out and theme the whole affair as a masquerade! Watching your team do the Monster Mash is worth every minute away from the computers.
Science has found that music spikes the part of the brain that’s associated with reward and emotion. So make sure you have a great playlist for the occasion. “Strange Brew” by Cream, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, and “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo are a few that should be in rotation.
#9: Send Email with Halloween Trivia Questions
This is the easiest activity on the list for you to put together. Send an “All Users” email with trivia questions related to scary movies, candy, and the overall history of Halloween. The person who gets the most correct answers can win something small, or at the very least, serious bragging rights.
Do you need some ideas for questions? Consider these! 1) What’s the highest grossing horror movie of all time? (IT), 2) Who wrote “Monster Mash?” 3) What’s the name of the Irish holiday on which Halloween is based? 4) When was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein published?
#10: Let Your Team Clock Out Early
Don’t forget a lot of your employees have kids and want to take them trick or treating. Why not let them go home a little early on October 31st? Now that’s an employee gift as sweet as a chocolate bar!
According to the United States Census Bureau, the average commute time from work is 26.6 minutes. The hours for trick-or-treating can be as early as 3:00 PM, and the kids are getting home from school and are ready to put on their Princess Jasmine and Spider-Man costumes. Show your team you care about their work-life balance by letting them head home a little earlier than usual on Halloween.
We spend a frightening amount of time at work and deserve to go to a place where we feel engaged and appreciated. Costumes, candy, and other creepy crawlies are a step in the right direction! It looks like Halloween isn’t just for the kids after all. Make this an event your employees will truly remember.
Give any or all of these Halloween activities for the office a try. You’ll create a positive atmosphere, plenty of good vibes, and may just get a more well-rounded, productive team as a result!