Christmas is the time of year that a lot of people look forward to.
It’s a chance to spend quality time with friends and family, relax, unwind and of course, there’s the gifts and food, too!
Whilst here in the UK around 92% of the population will get involved with festive celebrations, it’s true that some people are simply not bothered by it at all. It’s also important to acknowledge that there are cultures and religions that don’t celebrate Christmas and there are those who are non-religious that choose not to celebrate, either.
So, when it comes to having a multi-ethnic and multi-cultured workplace, how can you ensure inclusivity this Christmas and share the good times with your staff?
Sending out Christmas cards is a traditional festive activity, but if your workforce is a mix of cultures and personal beliefs, it can actually have the opposite effect to spreading a bit of Christmas cheer. As we mentioned, some cultures don’t celebrate Christmas at all, so sending a traditional Christmas greetings card or an invite to a Christmas party, to a multi-belief workforce – whilst with the best of intentions – may not create the positive engagement you’re looking to achieve.
Now of course, it’s still nice to send a greetings card or invite to a festive get-together, but perhaps focus on offering seasonal greetings or invites to a winter holiday party instead – that way, everyone will feel included and acknowledged – easy!
GET TO KNOW YOUR WORKFORCE
Today, celebrating inclusiveness and diversity is about more than just changing the labels and titles of your Christmas activities; it is learning to understand, appreciate and be aware of your staff’s traditions and beliefs, so they feel valued in their work. This also plays a huge part in creating a positive company culture, too.
It might be a good idea to swot up on the cultures and celebrations of your employees. This will not only show an interest in the lives of your workforce, but will also increase general engagement with the people who work hard for your business day in, day out.
Consider hosting a workshop in the workplace to encourage employees to share their celebrations with food, decorations, dress and heritage. Be respectful of the differences, whilst taking an interest in their traditions, too.
SHARE IN THE CELEBRATIONS
Depending on the size of your office and the diversity of your staff, maybe it’s a good idea to mark events in your calendar, such as Hanukkah, Ramadan, and Diwali. The Diwali ‘Festival of Lights’ is always a colourful and fun event and can be enjoyed by all. All it takes is a few minutes to update your calendar!
Programmes like Microsoft Outlook allow users to add calendar dates for celebrations from different parts of the world automatically, making this task quick and effortless. Display a multi-cultural calendar to help all employees stay aware of important cultural events for the rest of the year.
To have an inclusive, yet diverse environment, reinforce to your staff that all voices are welcome and that your company encourages divergent voices, which may produce a happier, productive and beneficial work environment.
Have you considered having a New Year's party instead of planning a Christmas party? This type of party can get everyone on board with the company's mission and vision for the New Year, and your staff may have more time to attend. This is the small stuff which can really make a difference when it comes to inclusive and positive workplace cultures.
Treat the needs of different employees about religious or holiday celebrations with flexibility. Your employee’s beliefs and culture can have a huge impact on their lives, so ensuring they can be acknowledged and respected in the workplace, can make a real difference to their engagement with your organisation.
Depending on the needs of the business, consider offering flexible holidays as part of your paid holiday schedule – after all, not everyone will be celebrating during the traditional Easter and Christmas breaks but may appreciate being given time instead to celebrate their own culture’s big days.
BUILD A WORKPLACE CULTURE THAT BUILDS GREAT BUSINESS
Not sure where to start when it comes to having an inclusive workplace culture? Don’t worry – we can help! Check out our free online guide: The Essential Guide to Festive Motivation, Incentives and Rewards via the link below and get the full lowdown on what you can do to build a workplace culture that works for everyone at Christmas!