Halloween, for some, is the most wonderful time of the year without question. For those of us who become giddy at the sight of October on the calendar, know that we can get a bit carried away with decorations, treats and of course, costumes.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to set guidelines prior to the big day to lessen the chance of insensitivity, outrageousness, and inappropriateness. I encourage all companies, large or small, to send out a memo outlining expectations, celebration announcements and most of all, costume guidelines. While this season is sure to bring a slew of Harley Quinn’s out of the woodwork for the big night, we want to be sure she doesn’t show up at work. In the same token, during a presidential election year, it isn’t quite right to bring those politics into the workspace. Halloween can be fun in the office if planned well.
When it comes to costumes and fun, contests are always a big hit, especially with your competitive sales teams. Offer prizes that relate to work incentives; prime parking space for a month, free lunch, items from the promotional closet, day off, half-day Fridays for a month, sleep in Mondays for a month, special plaque or statue award…. possibilities are endless. Create categories for winners; Best Overall Costume, Most Creative Costume, Best Ironic Costume etc. You can also offer a theme for the day; favorite television or movie character, characters from The Office, Parks & Rec or other office genre show; favorite candy or cereals are fun (it may be best not to choose favorite superheroes…masks and makeup should not be worn covering the entire face at work).
Offer costume ideas if you are so inclined. Click here to visit my Office Costume Pinterest board. You may find some pretty cool, appropriate costume ideas….
Remember that not everyone celebrates Halloween for various reasons. Questioning why someone is not in costume or their reasons for not celebrating is discriminatory and should not be done.
If you really want to boost morale in the office, host a Halloween Pet Parade and invite staff to bring their (well trained, non-exotic) pets to work for the afternoon or even better, host an evening family party and set up a trick or treat trail for the kids. Both of these take a bit more work and effort but if you can find an overzealous Halloween fan, they are most likely willing to spearhead the project.
Wishing you a fun & Happy Halloween!