Team spirit must be celebrated well beyond the holiday season

'Tis the season to truly enjoy your workplace colleagues.

'Tis the season to truly enjoy your workplace colleagues. The holiday parties that have become office staples are perhaps the most prominent annual events at which the team concept is underscored. People enjoy each other's company in a relaxed setting. Top performers are often recognized. CEOs, junior staffers, and everyone in between share the same good cheer.

Unfortunately, for too many organizations, when the last drink is poured and the final stragglers head home, the concept of team exits with them. This is a shame, but it's also a symptom of a problem that could prevent almost any business - communications, in particular - from performing with year-round excellence.

I recently moderated a panel on workplace culture in support of the C-Factors Survey feature we published in September. Communications leaders from Allison+Partners, GE, Bloomberg, and Pernod Ricard spoke about the 365-day-a-year efforts those entities put forth to make sure all employees understand and embody that culture.

Nothing ensures positive staff morale more than the feeling of being part of the same team from the CEO on down. It makes them work harder and spurs them to be the brand ambassadors their organizations need them to be. And the factors that instill those sentiments must be reinforced year-round, not just during a single December evening over laughs and liquor.

The good news is that many organizations are indeed exhibiting this year-round focus. Invariably, the ones that do this best can claim to be among the top places to work. In this issue, PRWeek is presenting its inaugural Best Places To Work. Based partly on responses to a survey we conducted in the fall, an esteemed group of judges recognized firms that stood out.

Beyond the obvious matters of pay and work-life balance, factors ranging from internal universities to a well-stocked kitchen really resonated among employees at firms that performed well. Whether it be knowledge, training, or their favorite snack, staffers must be fed year-round. Organizations that feed those hungers best are the ones with workplace cultures that truly inspire their employees.

By all means, enjoy those holiday festivities with your colleagues. But remember: entities that foster a team spirit throughout the year are the ones who will truly have something to celebrate.

Gideon Fidelzeid is the managing editor of PRWeek. He can be contacted at gideon.fidelzeid@prweek.com.

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