Secret gift swaps have been a holiday tradition around offices and homes for over 40 years. There are many versions of the game, such as white Elephant and Yankee swap, with slightly varying rules between them. Generally, participants are assigned with the task of purchasing an item that’s to be gifted to another participant at random. The game ends when all participants have a gift. But you don’t have to wait until the holiday season to get your team excited about this tradition. Secret gift swaps are a great way to increase energy and performance around the office, no matter the time of year.
Although they may not directly engage with each other at all times, team members spend many hours per week with each other in the office. Some members might be shier than others, dedicating less time to engaging in conversations and casual small talk around the cooler. Secret gift swaps are a great way to build mutual trust amongst your crew. In a results-driven office environment, camaraderie and genuine work friendships are a proven method to increased production and stronger key performance metrics.
Build Office Relationships
Secret gift swaps are more than exchanging gifts to each other; it’s storytelling. It’s the exchange of personal memories around the culture of gift-giving and the thought process behind selecting the gifts. It’s the experiences of seeing others open their gifts in anticipation of their happy faces. Secret gift swaps allow its participants to open up to others in a comfortable, warm environment that can have long-lasting effects on office relationships.
Improve Communication Skills
The nature of most secret gift swaps involve selecting a gift at random, and then choosing to keep the gift or swap it with another participant for a previously opened gift. The game calls for constant interaction and communication as the gifts exchange hands many times. There are moments of excitement and verbal decision making when stumbling across gifts that might be considered “on-the-fence”. Communication and team-building skills are vital in any organization, and what better way to improve those skills than with a fun, heartwarming tradition of gift-giving?
Everybody knows that the life of a corporate hustle can be challenging and sometimes stressful. Managing and minimizing stress is an increasingly important factor in mental health and productivity during work. Secret gift swaps are the perfect opportunity to encourage team members to engage in activities at work that are not work related. The mere sharing of laughter amongst peers in an environment that’s otherwise known for the 9 to 5 grind is a reminder that we’re all entitled to some fun, even if we’re on the clock.
Elfster.com is an excellent free resource to help you plan your next office gift swap. Elfster helps you organize your event using a few simple variables, such as names of participants, email addresses, and dates. The website is clean and easy to use, and even allows you to enter your own set of rules on the day of the exchange. Elfster will assign names at random and allows participants to enter their own wishlists with the click of a button. Simply register with your name and email and you’re ready to start planning.