Halloween Celebration: Add it as an exception in your HRMS

Halloween Celebrations in a company

HR on Cloud

Whenever we discuss the topic ‘Halloween celebration at the workplace’ with HR managers, their main concerns include appropriateness of celebrating the day at the workplace and costumes. In this Halloween season, through this blog post, we are trying to understand how we can turn the “Halloween Celebration” into an opportunity and how HRMS is relevant in these circumstances.

Increase employee engagement: We don’t know any well-established formulae or rule to keep employees engaged forever, but we can certainly keep them engaged for more than the usual time with “fair compensation and interesting work with parties and candy”. Halloween is one such opportunity. HR managers can incorporate “Halloween celebration” in workplace social activities and make it part of overall rewards strategy to foster an environment of fun and solidarity at the workplace.

Remember recently released Oracle’s Simply Talent study revealed that peers make employees engaged, NOT the HR or their line managers. Therefore in this Halloween season, let the bonding flourish amongst peer groups.

Get the best from your workforce: You must have noticed that there are some houses in your neighborhood where every child goes first. The simple reason is “the exceptional generosity” of those neighbors. They offer the best treats and surprises. In return, those neighbors enjoy the best possible Halloween engagement.

Employers can similarly use “Halloween celebration” as an opportunity to retain and attract exceptional employees. Experts recommend HR managers to innovate their reward programs and study the impact of celebration with HR analytics technology.

The celebration is not always the PAYOFF: Knowing what matters to your employees is more important than the specific perks you offer. HR managers may use the ‘Halloween party’ as an opportunity to encourage some friendly competition, build social bonds, get a little silly and sweeten up the work day.

This year, Halloween is on Saturday, but it won’t stop many employers from doing parties in the days before. Several companies will encourage or even allow their employees to wear costumes and decorate their workplace. Everything will work fine only when HR department in those companies would have clearly communicated the DOs & DONTs on the HRMS or employee portal. Remember, we live in the era of “zero tolerance” and polarized political atmosphere. To work in such an environment, we are sharing here some tips from Ms. Karen – RTD Metro Biz law columnist.

  • Prohibit costumes at the workplace: You can’t be sure that all your employees will dress appropriately. Despite your best effort, someone may feel offended or, harassed or, make an indecent comment or, have a wardrobe malfunction. In her opinion, the benefit of wearing Halloween costume is not worth the risk. If you still want to encourage costumes, be very clear in what is acceptable and what is not.
  • Prohibit props: HR managers should prohibit props which look like a dangerous weapons. They should also prohibit face painting or masks which may cause identity confusion.
  • Consider a theme: It may be difficult to convince your employees to not wear Halloween costumes. Therefore, HR managers may allow specific theme-based costumes.
  • Don’t make it mandatory: Some religious people may consider your Halloween theme party as a “religious event”. It may be a difficult situation for them to choose between religion and work. Therefore, it is not advisable to make the participation mandatory.

Author’s Take

HR managers can innovatively use their HRMS tools to organize the best Halloween party ever in their organizations. Isn’t it a good idea to treat this event as a training program, encourage employees with rewards and link their participation with their overall performance?


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