I know that everyone is crazed about the Elf on the Shelf, but tonight I want to talk about our elf in the workplace, a simple celebration that brings nothing but cheer to your co-workers. Jeremy named him Hickory.
On our podcast this week, I promised to write about ways that you can brighten up the workplace at the holidays–without adding stress. One of those ideas is to have a journal (ours has a plain red cover and lined paper) pass around the workplace with an accompanying toy elf–“You’ve been elfed.” The idea is that inside are letters (short!) appealing to Santa to reward someone for being nice.
The person who starts the journal would write a note like the following:
I’d like you to know that Mrs. D_____ has been especially nice this year. One day, she brought donuts for the office “just because.” She always has a smile on her face and never gets upset, even when those around her make mistakes that she has to fix. I’m thankful to be her co-worker.
Then, the person would deliver the journal (preferably place it in Mrs. D_____’s cubicle or some other place when she isn’t looking). The directions on the inside cover instruct the recipient to write his/her own praise for the next co-worker and pass it on. The instructions also include directions to return the journal (and the elf) to some neutral person–perhaps a receptionist or the boss–on the last working day before the holiday.
We have more than 100 people working in our building, and the first year we did this, I’d say we had about 40 responses. It was nice to read what others had written, and there was a genuine effort to get the elf and his journal to as many as possible. The second year was the same, except that the elf got stuck with one or two employees who didn’t feel much urgency to pass him on–so we had to conduct a rescue operation. This year, he went out a little late, and I have no idea how many he has visited: I probably won’t know until Friday, the 21st.
It’s a no-cost (except for the initial $20.00 investment) way to make people happy, and there’s no baking involved.