Butler & Davis Consulting LLC

A Guide for Nurturing Inclusivity in Workplace Holiday Celebrations

As the holiday season sets in, it is customary for teams and employers to invest in team building and get in a celebratory mood. The celebrations and holiday parties set a warm mood for finishing the year strong and starting the next year on a high note. To attain this result, it is paramount for all employers and teams to prioritize inclusivity and accord all employees a sense of belonging. This short read presents a guideline on how employers and teams can be inclusive of all religions and perspectives during the holidays. The article highlights three exclusionary behaviors that will undermine inclusivity, how to set the tone for holiday parties, and how to learn about different cultures.

Exclusionary behaviors in the workplace

Exclusionary behaviors are undesired in the workplace. Exclusionary behaviors usually negatively impact an organization because they disrupt diversity, inclusivity, and equity in the workplace. Below are three exclusionary behaviors that all employers and teams should avoid in this holiday season.

Scheduling mandatory work events on holidays

It is exclusive to schedule mandatory work events on religious holidays. For instance, scheduling a mandatory meeting on a religious holiday may make those celebrating the holiday feel overlooked and undervalued. All employers and team managers should consult religious calendars when making work schedules and create a flexible schedule that is mindful of all religious holidays.

A blanket approach to the holidays

A blanket approach to the holidays is undesirable as well since it can be exclusionary. For example, assuming that all Christians celebrate Christmas the same way is misleading as not all observe it the same way and do the same things on Christmas. To promote inclusivity, companies can consider using a free platform like SurveyMonkey to perform a survey on the holidays that employees celebrate and how they observe them. Such surveys will help employers and teams to come up with an inclusive holiday-themed party.

To promote inclusivity in holiday parties, organizations should use neutral themes that are not religious. Such themes will include everyone, irrespective of their religious inclinations. Therefore, all employees will feel a sense of belonging.

Setting the tone for holiday parties

Employers and teams can set the tone for holiday parties in two primary ways. The first way is adopting inclusivity when inviting employees to the parties. For instance, the use of neutral terms like “company festive gathering” or “end-of-year celebration” will communicate inclusivity more than terms like “Christmas celebration” or “Hanukkah celebration.” Secondly, you can set the tone for holiday parties by adopting an inclusive menu. You can ask the employees to recommend a food item from their culture to include in the menu. Alternatively, you can create a menu based on diverse cuisines from different cultures to promote inclusivity.

Parties are an opportunity to learn about different cultures

Make it a habit to make all your holiday parties an opportunity to learn about different cultures. For example, consider having the dress code for the party “something unique from your culture whereby” all employees wear some unique piece of clothing from their culture. Such minute details can create amazing conversational starters that make it possible for your employees to learn more about each other’s cultures. You can also utilize decorations highlighting something about every employee’s culture. Such steps will bring your employees together irrespective of their religions and perspectives.

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