It’s never too early to start planning for Halloween in my book…and what better way to gain some workplace kudos than by whipping up some Halloween antics? Unless someone in your office has already claimed the role of being the designated holiday-crazed maniac, your boss will probably be game to ordain you the Howl-o-ween Coordinator. You never know unless you ask!
The first thing you should do is to remember that fun doesn’t always have a good name in our culture so you might have a better chance of your ideas getting approved if you frame your intentions in terms of the following:
- Teambuilding/employee morale (this comes into play when people in a department work together on a theme for costumes or decorations)
- Customer service (I worked in a medical office once that swore by having all staff dress up at Halloween and they were so right! It got the patients’ minds off of being sick and the epic wait to see a doctor!)
- Community service (You could arrange for your crew to visit an assisted living facility or you could invite children with special needs to trick or treat in your workplace)
Halloween Antics (starting with all-out, ending with tame):
- Organize a Halloween Parade: Manhattan does it, so why can’t you?
- Halloween Ball: Make it a costume party. This is best if you have a large workplace or can partner with another business (consider other businesses in your building or partner agencies).
- Awards Ceremony: If people usually dress up in your workplace, propose kicking it up a notch this year with an awards ceremony. The awards can be best costume, funniest costume, scariest costume, most creative costume, costume that took the most time to make, etc. To maximize the teamwork angle, you could offer an award to the group that comes up with the best costume theme for their department. Get good prizes and advertise the awards and prizes ahead of time to incentivize participation. Obviously if someone has good reasons for not participating–a.k.a. religious ones–they’re off the hook. But some workplaces have no good reasons, just toxicly low morale–and as the Halloween change agent fairy, you’re going to do something about it! Purchase some cheap masks and props from the dollar store to pass out to those who “forget” or “didn’t have time” to dress up.
- Costume Soiree for children: This could be arranged by encouraging employees to bring their kids in after school. For the increasing numbers of people that see no children on Halloween, this is a genuine treat!
- Trick or Treating: Encourage employees to bring in treats and give all employees a bag for trick or treating.
- Halloween Decorations: Offer prizes such as those suggested for costumes. This works best if departments or those who work in the same physical space work together to decorate their shared work area.
And if your workplace is too conservation for any of this hoopla? Propose one of the following:
- Halloween Luncheon: If your workplace is game for some real fun, set your imagination on fire by checking out the food styling here: http://www.pinterest.com/freya/halloween-recipes/ But a Halloween feast can be as simple as labelling blue tortilla chips “Dried Bat Wings” or as elaborate as making whole wheat witch fingers to pair with your favorite dip.
- Halloween Breakfast: Select from cider and doughnuts, pumpkin and apple breads, pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee cake, and pumpkin or apple muffins.
All of this is basically extra-curricular–something you’re volunteering to do for the good of the office so don’t neglect to mention it on your next performance review. Remember, if all of this goes well, you can consider forming a Fun Committee or Holiday Celebration Committee to keep the good times—and good impressions of you—rolling throughout the year.