You may not believe this, but I’m more serious about this post than possibly every other post I’ve ever written.
I love Halloween and I always have. Just ask my mom, she’ll back me up on this. I have more Halloween decorations than Christmas decorations. I have decreed that our lobby at sparkspace be spookily decorated for the entire month of October (we’re talking haunted house spooky, not Hallmark store spooky).
And yes, I still dress up for Halloween. I have teenagers — you’d think I would have outgrown this by now. Not a chance. Last year I dressed up as jeff the killer, terrified the kids, haha! This Friday I will be dressed up in my latest Hollywood-worthy costume all day long at work. I can’t tell you what it is because we have a pretty intense costume contest. I love my team, but I know any one of them would throw me in front of a speeding bus to keep me from winning. Oh, I’ve never won the contest before, but I’m confident that this is my year.
As silly as it may sound, I believe allowing your team to dress up AT WORK for Halloween is absolutely critical to creating a successful workplace. Here are 4 reasons why:
1. It allows people to be creative.
Let’s face it, most jobs don’t require boat loads of creativity, many can be monotonous, and some are downright boring. Letting people showcase their inner freak by wearing a seventies leisure suit or a Cleopatra costume can squeeze some creative juice back into them.
2. It creates friendly competition.
Even if you don’t have an actual competition, dressing up for Halloween is a competitive sport that typically starts weeks in advance. In our office, the trash talk (mostly by me) starts around October 1. We have a lot of fun talking about scouring thrift stores, being cryptic about our theme, and pretending to be stressed out over the upcoming costume throw down. It is one of the best bonding experiences of our entire year.
3. Your customers will think it’s pretty cool.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking your customers will think you’re goofing off. They’ll question whether you’re doing a good job or not. You think your staff will be more focused on their costumes than your customers. I guarantee you the exact opposite happens. They will engage MORE with your customers and your customers will engage more with them. Believe me, when you’re dressed up like Willie from Duck Dynasty, it’s a pretty great conversation starter. Even if you don’t see customers face-to-face, when your staff is happy and having fun, don’t you think customers can hear that over the phone?
4. Your employees want to have fun once in awhile.
I’ve seen this play out now for many years at sparkspace. Our visitors arrive for a “serious” meeting and can’t help but smile at our silliness. I have heard countless people mournfully wish aloud that their office would “allow” such fun. If you’re a manager or leader and you think your business is too serious to dress up for Halloween (Funeral Home Directors ironically excepted), please send me your address so I can toilet paper the trees at your house.
It’s ONE DAY, people. If you can’t have fun at work for ONE DAY, there is something seriously wrong with your company culture.
Ok, I rest my case. Happy Halloween!
P.S. Our annual costume contest has a charity component and it’s ALL UP TO YOU! Visit our Facebook page on Friday and cast your vote for your favorite sparkspace staff costume. The winner gets $200 to donate to the charity of his or her choice.
Last year’s winner, FYI, was Jason Messick, pictured above doing his best Carlito’s Way impersonation. I plan on totally taking him down this year.