Business Best Practices, Our Thoughts

4 Tips to Foster Inclusion During the Holidays

Nov 7, 2019

What Holidays are Today – Diversity and Inclusion During The Holiday Season

The holiday season is often associated with Christmas trees, plastic santas, and other various Christmas decorations. Even though Christmas dominates the winter months, there are millions of people that do not celebrate Christmas and may get offended if invited to a corporate “Christmas” party. Diversity and inclusion during the holiday season is important to maintain a positive work environment. Minor details like this could lead to decreased employee morale and alterations in the business culture. The thought of trying to accommodate every single person’s holiday preferences can be a little overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are several steps that can be taken to ensure employee satisfaction regarding corporate holiday parties.

Taking diversity into consideration during the holidays.

  • Survey employees
  • Diversity in planning
  • Diverse decorations
  • Making parties optional

One thing that can be done to become more knowledgeable of your employees’ preferences is send out an anonymous survey, asking employees what holidays are important to them.  In doing this, employers can determine what accommodations need to be made to ensure employees feel valued and appreciated.

Diversity in Decor.

To ban Christmas decorations at any holiday party is unrealistic, because a large portion of people in the U.S. do celebrate Christmas, but there are most likely people in your workforce who do not. Parties can be decorated with more than just Christmas decorations, by adding decorations associated with all applicable religions and religious holidays. Holiday parties can be arranged by diverse groups of people, who are more educated on different religious perspectives to gain an insight on appropriate decorations.

Now, even with more diverse holidays, there are religions that do not celebrate holidays at all. This can be addressed by acknowledging that corporate Christmas parties are strictly optional. People should not feel in any way obligated to attend or that they will be looked down upon if they do not attend.

Always, always ask for feedback.

Lastly, request feedback from your employees after the party, to identify areas that need improving upon for next year’s party. Workplace culture is an ever-changing organism, so don’t be afraid to mess up! Just learn from your mistakes, communicate with your teams, and take appropriate measures in the future to be more inclusive of all diverse perspectives within your company.

Inclusion is essential to a healthy working environment, but it is still uncharted territory for a lot of employers and managers. The main thing is that an effort is being made. If employees see upper management trying to become more inclusive, they will be much more likely to discuss problems regarding inclusion and will also be more understanding if they have an issue in the workplace.