How to Make Your Office More Inclusive on the Holidays

celebrating holidays in the workplace

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Celebrating Holidays in the Workplace

 

As the owner of a company, you want to focus on keeping your workplace diverse and inclusive. According to BuiltIn.com, diverse companies get 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee than less diverse ones. For this reason, many goals for hiring managers is to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. The most important month for a company to help make their employees feel more included is December. We wanted to give you some tips for celebrating holidays in the workplace.

December is usually one of the craziest months of the year for some companies. December is the last month before the new year, and this is when companies rush to fill quotas. However, December is also crucial because of the numerous religious holidays that occur. There are 14 religious holidays believers celebrate in December. We wanted to highlight how you can make your office more inclusive during the most challenging month of the year.

Understanding the Stressfulness of the Month

 

The holidays are not only stressful for one individual in your office but all individuals. Whether you are an intern trying to get your full-time job offer or CEO of the company, all holidays are stressful. Unfortunately, December is full of holidays.

This time of year can take a strain on employee productivity. Once Thanksgiving hits, productivity in employees naturally goes down until the new year. Based on Peakon’s study, 10% of people reported that they were less productive for the entire month of December. On top of that, 40% of the study’s participants said they were less productive by mid-December. However, a more inclusive office will increase productivity.

I am sure you have all seen a change in office productivity in the winter months, but nothing quite like December. This decrease in productivity is due to employees trying to spend time with family, organizing the holidays, and possibly not feeling included at the office.

As a hiring manager or employer, you can only focus on one of these issues that your employees can be facing. Now that you understand the stress of the December month for you and your employees, here is what you can do to improve productivity by being inclusive.

You Can’t Prevent the Inevitable.

 

What is inevitable in December? The inevitable is a decrease in productivity. There are many reasons for this, but one for sure that you can prevent is people not feeling included. There will inevitably be a decrease in productivity, but as you know, a diverse and inclusive workplace get 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. Having an inclusive office on the holiday will boost team morale and increase the usual productivity in December. 

Holidays in late-November & December

 

To make everyone feel included, you will need to make sure you know and understand each holiday.

Nov. 20 to Nov. 21: Mawlid el-Nabi — Islam

Nov. 28: Advent Fast begins — Orthodox Christian

Dec. 6: Saint Nicholas Day — Christian

Dec. 2 to 10: Hanukkah — Judaism

Dec. 8: Immaculate Conception — Catholic

Dec. 12: Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe — Catholic

Dec. 17: Posadas Navidenas — Christian

Dec. 21: Solstice — Wicca/Pagan

Dec. 25: Christmas — Christian

Dec. 26: Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathustra) — Zoroastrian

Dec. 26: Jan. 1 Kwanzaa

Dec. 28: Holy Innocents Day — Christian

Dec. 30: Feast of the Holy Family — Catholic

Dec. 31: Watch Night — Christian

Jan. 24: Rohatsu (Bodhi Day) — Buddhist

I won’t go into detail about each because I don’t want this blog to overwhelm you, but for a description of each, visit deseret.com. As you can see, many of these holidays are celebrated by different religions. It is essential to understand that just because most of America celebrates Christmas doesn’t mean that these other holidays shouldn’t also be observed in the office. About ¾ of our country’s population consists of Christians. Even though there are a small number of other religions, it can harm your organization’s engagement if their holiday is not recognized.

percentage of religions, inclusive holiday at work

One mistake that companies make is having a “holiday” party that consists of a Christmas tree, ornaments, and gifts underneath. Just because you intended not to have a Christmas party doesn’t mean the holiday party was fully inclusive. Instead, have a more straightforward approach to the holidays. A way of expressing your inclusiveness as a company is to recognize employees’ faiths and wish them a happy holiday on their faith’s day.

Plan Ahead

 

Diverse Planning Committee

 

First things first, the more people on a team is usually better. Creating a diverse planning committee should be your first step to create a more inclusive holiday. This committee should consist of a group of individuals with carrying beliefs. Each individual will have their perspective on the holidays, making it a group discussion on how to go forth with celebrations. A group of individuals with different beliefs will come up with some great ways to create a highly inclusive workplace during December and throughout the year. Creating a committee is a great way to start celebrating the holidays in the workplace.

Schedule around Holidays

 

Imagine having your office come to work on Christmas for a holiday party? The attendance will more than likely be at an all-time low because the last thing people want is to celebrate Christmas at work rather than with family. The same goes for other religious holidays. 

Make sure to check the interfaith calendar before scheduling your end of the year office party. For example, organizing a holiday party on Dec. 2 will interfere with Hanukkah.

Host a Voluntary Party

 

The worst thing you can do is have a mandatory holiday party. The majority of people will not mind going to the holiday party, but some religions don’t celebrate holidays.

Make sure to avoid anything mandatory when it comes to anything related to holidays. Don’t pressure people to come in for a voluntary party either. Ensure it is well known that it is voluntary, and there is no necessity for anyone to attend!

Non-Specific

 

At your next holiday party, make sure not to have decorations for one specific holiday. A Christmas tree and ornaments may offend some individuals. Make sure to avoid having any holiday-specific decorations! Celebrating a specific holiday at a workplace party can cause others to feel non-included.

Diverse Food

 

Offering different types of food is very important when it comes to a holiday party. Whether you are catering to various religious groups or vegetarians, it is essential to keep in mind that we all eat different types of food! Make sure to keep in mind all backgrounds before selecting food. Having a wide range of foods for everyone is a good tip for follow when celebrating holidays in the workplace.

Now that you know how to be more inclusive during the holidays, when will your holiday party be? For more information, check out this article SHRM.org wrote.

Now that you know more about making a inclusive workplace during the holidays, are you ready to start recruiting diverse talent?

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