Till not so long ago, Diwali celebrations in office was short and simple. It mainly comprised a small office party, often referred to as Diwali get-together where may be an informal lunch was organised and in most cases, employees came dressed in ethnic wear. Celebrations seldom went beyond these, and no one bothered about being actively involved in Diwali activities in office. Employees would admire the decorations, have sweets or lunch and go back home at the end of the day.
However, now times are changing. With Human Resource team being more prominent and kicking into action, organisations are increasingly opting to commemorate Diwali in an unusual way. They are choosing to go off the beaten track. Most organisations are using Diwali activities to boost team building, motivating and engaging employees, increase bonding and encouraging company-led corporate social responsibility initiatives.
The following paragraphs take a look at the various innovative ways in which Diwali activities in offices are being redesigned.
#1. Team building initiatives
Many organisations are leveraging the benefit of the festival of Diwali in fostering team building spirits. It goes without saying that festivals are a magnificent time to build bonhomie and encourage employee bonding, in particular between various teams and departments. HR managers feel, it is essential that employees also bond with each other outside the rigid four walls of the office. Therefore, some corporates choose to organise an offsite activity around this time. In the offsite, team building activities and various bonding sessions are conducted, and sometimes adventure sports are also included. Needless to say, such offsite program becomes an unusual Diwali event for the employees. In most cases, the results in such activities, about team building have been great, because such events help overcome the hierarchies that tend to creep into the four walls of the office space.
#2. Inviting everyone for the festivities
Families form a significant part of every individual’s life. Increasingly companies are realising this and working towards creating a work-life balance in a more creative way. Organisations are going an extra mile to embrace employees’ families as well. Many companies organise an all-day event as a part of their Diwali activities and invite spouses (and even kids) of employees to be a part of the celebrations. Certain activities are organised such as obstacle races and drawing competition or recitation for children. Eventually, awards are also given away to the winners of the games.
Organizing Diwali activities such as the one mentioned above, showcases companies as humane organisations, thereby giving them an edge in the job market.
#3. Socially responsible activities
The modern day organisation takes social responsibility very seriously. Corporates are increasingly using Diwali as an occasion to lead their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives. It has usually stemmed from the idea that the festival is an occasion of lights and joy and it can be shared with people who are not-so-fortunate. Several organisations have voluntary drives donation during the Diwali week where they collect old clothes, medicines and other household items (that can be reused) from employees and give away to NGOs and charitable organisations.
Other initiatives include an example of InMobi where they take their Diwali activities to the next level by requesting beneficiaries of the charitable organisations they partner with. For example, last to last year they invited children with Down syndrome and last year they brought smiles to the faces of hundred homeless, at-risk children as a part of their Diwali celebrations. Organising such events give festival celebrations an entirely different dimension.
With a well-thought out festive agenda, which serves many purposes, from promoting intra-organizational bonding to motivating employees and encouraging CSR activities, organisations are celebrating Diwali with a new twist.