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5 ways to make Halloween a scream in your office

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While more than half of employees globally plan to attend or participate in a company Halloween party, only about 11% are likely to wear a costume to work.

This is according to a Glassdoor survey about employee expectations for Halloween, which found many organisations have a take-it-or-leave-it approach to the scary season.

However, 59% of staff believe Halloween parties are a great opportunity to boost staff morale.

Although Halloween has already officially begun, it might not be too late to get the festivities started. Take a few tips from the Glassdoor survey:

1. Encourage staff to dress up

– 42% of employees said they would dress up in a ‘classic’ costume, such as a witch or pirate.

– 20% want to dress up at Katniss from The Hunger Games.

– 11% want to wear office-themed attire, like dressing up as the boss or the company mascot.

2. Get management on board

Amanda Lachapelle, Glassdoor’s human resources and talent acquisition expert, said get management’s buy-in to get employees to dress up for the day, as nearly one third of staff hope their boss will dress up.

“Halloween parties and other festivities are great for culture creation. One way to make them a success is to build excitement and momentum among top executives,” she said.

“Give employees a heads up that your CEO or other executive will be coming in costume to work, and you may be surprised to see just how many people will show up in a range of creative costumes.”

3. Feel free to tell people with inappropriate costumes to change

– 46% of employees are not aware if their company has a policy around what is and isn’t appropriate when it comes to costumes.

– 51% of employees believe if someone wears an inappropriate costume, HR should ask that person to change.

– 14% think HR should send that person home if they are wearing an inappropriate costume, but 29% think HR should be focused on more important workplace issues.

4. Get creative with festivities

42% of staff say decorations are important in the office, while 40% just want free candy.

Other Halloween-related activities staff want include a Halloween breakfast or lunch (31%), during-business hours party at the office (29%), a costume contest (27%), an after-hours party at the office (18%) and inviting employees’ kids to work to show off their costumes (18%).

“If you have budget available for any festivities around Halloween, food will always bring people out of their cubes and away from their desks,” said Lachappelle.

“It provides a chance for people to talk about something other than work.”

5. Use the opportunity to treat staff

It’s probably no surprise that 63% of employees would prefer to be able to leave work early on Halloween, rather than have an office party.

Lachappelle said it can be a good idea to be flexible with hours if your staff take Halloween seriously.

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