Senior Marketing Strategist
As the holiday season whirls around the corner, many people think of traditional American celebrations. These include Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Although those are celebrated, have you taken into consideration holidays from different cultures, sectors, and religions? How can your company plan an all cultural and traditional season? Where or how do you start? Below are a few ideas for fostering an inclusive work environment.
Create a diverse planning committee
Since organizations are focusing on hiring a diverse workforce, there are many other holidays to be included on the calendar. Creating a diverse committee allows for other holidays to be acknowledged, highlighted, and celebrated. Employees can gain insights to other’s traditions and can foster a better image around their culture and the company.
Encourage employees to share their traditions
With a diverse planning committee, they can ask employees to share their traditions. This will help employees feel included and valued within the company as well as the culture. Setting up a weekly lunch with one or two speakers sharing an informal conversation around a certain holiday is a fun way to let others know about your culture.
Create an opt-out without judgment option
Having an opt-out option allows employees to feel safe and welcomed within the company culture. It’s not fun to be forced to attend a holiday event when you may not have the same views as others. Ensuring your employees know that holidays are optional and not mandatory allows for minimal to no pressure in joining.
Provide a diverse music playlist
Although decorations and themed foods can create a great atmosphere, it is important to also create a music playlist with a diverse arrangement of songs. This will elevate your celebration and can support and embrace the attendees, as well as provide conversation starters.
Offer floating holidays
A diverse work culture means employees may not celebrate the same holidays, so how can you accommodate everyone? Offer floating holidays. This will help foster a better work environment and show that you see holidays other than your own.
A great way to ensure your efforts are in the right place is to ask your company for feedback on your initiatives. Create a simple survey (consider making it anonymous) or focus group that encourages honest feedback on your efforts. What actions do you enjoy? What more can we incorporate?
With these diverse options for implementation, creating a plan that includes everyone’s holidays can foster a great, inclusive work environment and encourage your staff to stay with your company. What are your first steps?