The end-of-year holiday season is here, and with it comes the desire to celebrate with not just family and friends, but in your workplace as well! When it comes to planning an inclusive holiday celebration, there are a few best practices you and your team will want to keep in mind to assist in your organization's diversity initiatives.
Establish a Diverse Workplace Planning Committee
First of all, if your company is large enough for a holiday planning committee, make sure to invite a diverse group of individuals to join. Including employees from a variety of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, religions or spiritualities, gender or sexual orientation, ages, and abilities will provide a more diverse conversation for your celebration planning. If your company is smaller or you are unable to form a planning committee, be sure to get the opinions of multiple employees from your diverse workforce. Maybe the majority of your employees want a small celebration, a big party, or nothing at all, but you won't know until you ask.
Use Inclusive Holiday Decorations
Whether you're planning a big year-end blowout, or just sprucing up the office lobby, holiday decorations can spread cheer but can also be divisive if not done well. Celebrating a diverse team doesn't have to mean that cultural decor is not allowed. Instead, find ways to represent the holiday traditions of your employees. Encourage office workers to accessorize their workspace with decorations from their own chosen holiday — and provide reimbursement for any expenses they may incur. Common workspaces, like the lounge or lobby, can be decorated with more neutral winter decorations, such as snowmen, winter scenes, and a variety of colors. Ensuring that everyone feels accepted and represented is key to promoting an inclusive culture.
Offer Floating Holidays
When it comes to choosing a day for your holiday party or providing paid time off at year-end, employers can offer floating holidays to allow employees time off to celebrate their religion's holiday or at the time of their choosing. Offer an equal amount of time off for all team members, which should include an appropriate number to cover their holiday celebrations. Picking a date for your team's celebration may be easier around New Year’s Eve or before any major religious holidays begin. Be considerate of each employee's schedule by discussing and choosing a party date together on a shared calendar.
Don’t Require Participation
Along these same lines, don't be offended if an employee chooses not to participate in your company's holiday celebration. Maybe the holiday season is a difficult time for them, or maybe they're feeling stressed about hosting family, but you can model respect by not probing them with personal questions when someone declines to attend. Make it known early that your inclusive holiday celebration is meant to be a fun, extracurricular event, and that any employee's absence will not be held against them. Additionally, you can offer a virtual option for remote workers or those who may have a difficult time coming into the office.
Provide Diversity Training
Not only should employers be addressing diversity during the holidays, it should also be a year-round initiative. A great solution is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion suite of courses from EasyLlama covers topics like diversity in the workplace, microaggressions, unconscious bias, cultural competency, and more. Developed by HR and diversity experts, our online workplace training uses real-life scenarios and Hollywood-produced videos to engage learners and improve knowledge retention. Employees who have received effective diversity training are more aware of the value of collaborating with people from various backgrounds, cultures, and ideologies, and that extends to the holidays as well.
If you're looking for the best-in-class diversity training for your workforce, reach out to EasyLlama today for your free course preview and learn more about how we're shaking up the status quo of traditional workplace training.