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Idea Fair

5 Days of Holidays

How has this idea enhanced your club's operation, etc.?

THE CHALLENGE: Traditionally, the staff of the Detroit Athletic Club has celebrated the holiday season with a party including food, entertainment, Board participation and a raffle featuring great items—plus everyone in attendance receives a gift card. This past holiday, however, we were operating under Michigan COVID restrictions and unable to provide this sort of event, and many of our staff members were furloughed at the time.

How was this idea implemented, and what have been the club members' reactions?

WHAT WE DID: Instead of a single staff party, we created “5 Days of Holidays”: Dec. 14-18, 2020. By using some creative ideas, we were able to provide holiday cheer to those who were working and those furloughed. Among the initiatives:

  • Festive decor in employee spaces, including the employee entrance and dining room in the back of the house.
  • A “Spread the Holiday Cheer” board, allowing staff to recognize other team members.
  • “5 Days of Holidays” meals, raising the normal high-quality meal we serve to staff every day to a more elegant level. Meals included appetizers, soups, entrees, and desserts as well as a hot chocolate bar.
  • Managers participated each day, serving, cleaning and interacting with the team.
  • “5 Days of Holidays” daily raffles: Our Purchasing Department secured some amazing prizes. We had a live raffle each of the five days in front of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the main lobby of the Club. All staff, whether actively working or furloughed, were included in the daily raffles. Each day a video of the raffle was emailed to staff.
  • Gift cards were available to all staff, whether actively working or furloughed. We provided this in a COVID safe way by contact-free drive-up distribution—and doubled the amount from previous years.
  • Holiday video: Since we were unable to recognize staff in person for their years of service, as well as recognize winners of the Core Values Award, Leadership Award, Employee of the Month, and Employee of Year, we created a holiday video that included greetings from our president. The video was emailed to all staff.

About the author

Tai Tran

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