Christmas and Easter are times of year that a lot of people look forward to.
It’s a chance to spend quality time with friends and family, relax and unwind!
Many of us look forward to celebrations like Christmas and Easter, and it's understandable. Between some extra days off work, festive treats to time off with friends and family, there's plenty about the holidays to love.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that there are cultures and religions that don’t celebrate Christmas, Easter (and other UK Christian celebrations) and there are those who are non-religious that choose not to take part, either.
So, when it comes to having a multi-ethnic and multi-cultured workplace, how can you ensure inclusivity and share the good times with your staff?
GET TO KNOW YOUR WORKFORCE
Today, celebrating inclusiveness and diversity is about more than just changing the labels and titles of your seasonal activities; it is learning to understand, appreciate and be aware of your employee's traditions and beliefs so they feel valued in their work.
An inclusive approach to the diversity of your workforce plays a huge part in creating a positive company culture, too.
Taking the time to learn about the cultures and celebrations of your employees and showing a genuine interest in the lives of your workforce will increase employee engagement.
Getting new starters to share a brief introduction about themselves or performing employee surveys is an effective way to gather information. From here, you create or task your CSR, internal communications team or HR to ensure you give attention o all cultures and beliefs.
The steps you can take towards creating a culture of inclusivity can range from bringing in food and decorations or making time for colleagues to share insights into the events that are important to them.
SHARE IN THE CELEBRATIONS
Create a calendar of events, noting Hanukkah, Ramadan, and Diwali as an example) and allocate an individual or team to lead specific activities. 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 automatically add calendar dates for celebrations from different parts of the world, making this task quick and effortless. Display a multicultural calendar to help all employees stay aware of important cultural events for the rest of the year.
Embracing an inclusive and diverse culture reinforces to your employees that all voices are welcome, increases employee engagement and boosts performance. A happy workforce produces many benefits, including increased employee retention.
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 employees 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 significantly impact their lives, so ensuring they can be acknowledged and respected in the workplace can make a real difference in 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 celebrate during the traditional Easter and Christmas breaks but may appreciate you giving them time instead to celebrate their own culture’s big days