Staff Holiday Party on Hold? Consider Other Morale-Boosting Options


The holidays are upon us, which means you’d normally start planning for some sort of staff party or event.

But as we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 anything but normal.

So, instead of hosting an in-person get-together, what can you do to lift your staff’s spirits to thank them for their hard work this year?

Last month, the Medical Group Management Association asked several health care leaders that question for a MGMA Stat poll.

Almost half of the responses (46%) said they’d give out bonuses this year, while another 19% said “non-monetary gifts.” One respondent suggested taking the average spend on a holiday party and distributing it as a bonus among staff members. Another suggested simply stopping office hours for an hour or two one day and bringing in lunch.

Eleven percent of respondents said they’d still throw a party, and several suggested hosting them outdoors, if weather permits.

Other suggestions you might consider:

  • Add games to already scheduled meetings.
  • Draw names for a “white elephant” or “Secret Santa” gift exchange.
  • Coordinate a cookie exchange.
  • Schedule an ugly holiday sweater day.
  • Hold a best decorated workstation or exam room contest.
  • Host a virtual social gathering during non-work hours and play trivia or quiz games like “To Tell the Truth.”
  • Surprise staff with an impromptu half-day off to spend with their family or finish their holiday shopping.

Before you decide, remember, gifts don’t have to be expensive. Thoughtful or meaningful gifts that show you value staff as employees as well as people can be just as valuable.

For more tips and information on boosting practice morale, check out the Texas Medical Association’s CME publication, Managing Your Practice: Recipes for a Happy Staff.

The publication, which is accredited for 1 AMA PRA Category 1TM credit, can help you create a positive atmosphere that encourages happiness and professional fulfillment for your staff, which leads to happy patients.

The publication is free to TMA members and practice staff thanks to a generous sponsorship by the Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust.   

Last Updated On

November 24, 2020

Originally Published On

November 24, 2020

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