Ghosts and Goblins at Work: Allowing Employees to Dress Up for Halloween Promotes Engagement

Oct. 30, 2017
Fewer than half of employees from around the country said their employer allows them to dress up for Halloween, and that might be a mistake if engagement is important to you.

Gary Beckstrand, vice president at O.C. Tanner, an employee recognition and workplace culture company, says employers are missing out on an opportunity to increase fun and engagement for employees by not allowing them to dress up for Halloween.

O.C. Tanner recently surveyed employees from around the country and found that fewer than half – 45 percent – were allowed to dress up while another 20 percent were not sure if their employer would allow it. The survey determined that the simple act of allowing employees dress up for Halloween has a real impact on employee engagement.

“Halloween is a great opportunity to increase engagement and well-being among teams,” says Beckstrand. “But it’s less about the fact that people are dressing up or going to an office party, and more about the byproducts of allowing employees to do those types of things.”

When you encourage employees to dress up or decorate their personal space, you are encouraging them to express themselves, which fosters employees getting to know one another and it builds camaraderie and social connections within teams, he adds. “Being able to be social at work is an incredibly important component of wellbeing. Additionally, you are building trust with your employees by showing them that they have the agency to be creative and have fun around this time of year.”

The survey also found that of the 953 employees who were surveyed, those who are able to dress up at work show higher engagement versus those who are not allowed to dress up.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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