3 Ways to Promote an Inclusive Work Environment During the Holidays
The holiday season is often associated with Christmas trees, Santa Claus and a variety of Christmas decorations, yet there are millions of people that do not celebrate Christmas. Here are 3 easy ways you can help to make sure all your employees feel included and respected.
Be Aware – Between November 1st and January 15th, there are over 29 holidays observed by 7 of the world’s major religions, yet in most US companies, sentiments and celebrations often center around one, Christmas. This can result in some employees feeling left out. Understand that your workforce may be as diverse a representation as the 7 major religions or, practice no religion at all. As such, business leaders who want to be inclusive can recognize that fact and instead focus on making employees feel that they belong by ensuring that it’s your employees that are celebrated, not just a particular holiday.
Solicit Feedback – Let’s face it, you don’t know what you don’t know. One of the best ways to understand how employees feel about the Company’s efforts during the holiday season is to ask. You can use this information to identify areas that may need improvement or require a certain level of sensitivity. Don’t be afraid to get negative feedback, it’s all about learning from your mistakes and taking appropriate steps to be more inclusive of the diverse perspectives throughout your company.
Have Fun With It – Take this time as a learning opportunity for everyone – but make it fun. Create challenges or contests that encourages employees to share details about their particular holiday and/or traditions. Considering our current virtual environment, you can have employees use pictures to tell the story with a prize for the most likes or most unique.
In the end, it doesn’t mean that as a company you can’t acknowledge Christmas at all. It’s just important to remember that diversity and inclusion also includes making considerations during the holiday season. The main thing is that an effort is being made to recognize that these differences exist and work towards fostering a positive work environment – even during the holidays.