‘Tis the season to celebrate! It’s officially that time of year again where work begins to wind down and holiday celebrations start winding up. This time of year is a great opportunity to reflect on the past 11 months and many executives enjoy sending out holiday newsletters or even hosting holiday town-halls. But let’s make sure to cultivate an inclusive holiday season where all employees are feeling celebrated, and not just those who celebrate the same holidays and traditions that you do.
Here are three tips to having a more inclusive holiday season!
First off, even acknowledging that some employees may celebrate different holidays during this time of year can score you major points. Everyone loves seeing their culture be celebrated and appreciated, so make sure to acknowledge all holidays employees may be celebrating. Better yet, go the extra step and have corresponding employee resource groups (ERG’s) put together a feature for your company newsletter or other internal communications channels that showcases their respective holidays such as Hanukkah, Kwanza, Three Kings Days, Lunar New Year, or Día de Muertos. Seeing their holidays and traditions acknowledged and represented can also boost overall job satisfaction, create higher levels of engagement, and most importantly, demonstrate to your employees that you genuinely care about them as a human, not just as part of your head count. Read more about holiday season faux pas here.
Another great way to promote inclusivity during this holiday season is to suggest that managers ask their teams if they’d like to take part in a collective holiday celebration where employees can bring in aspects that are important for their holidays. For example, those celebrating Hanukkah may bring Latkes or Challah to share while employees celebrating Lunar New Year could bring traditional jiaozi (dumplings) or changshou mian (longevity noodles). Hosting an event such as this promotes cultural competence and awareness, ultimately broadening employees’ horizons and fostering a more sensitive and empathetic workplace. Plus, it could give employees a fun break from what are typically very busy workdays as the year wraps up. See more ways on how to engage employees and cultivate an inclusive holday season here.
Global holiday calendar
Finally, be sure you’re taking a global approach to office closings for holidays. If you have employee audiences across different continents, consider offering different paid time off (PTO) options for those who celebrate different holidays. The easiest thing to do in life is to assume, and assuming that your entire workforce is thrilled with having the typical North American Christmas and New Year’s off could be a costly mistake. Instead, offer floating holidays or a set number of days employees can take during the holiday season, but with the option that they are able to use those when its most advantageous for them. Doing so may actually increase productivity during one of the busiest times of year as fewer employees may be gone the same days. And while this may make things slightly more complicated for your managers and human resources department as they juggle PTO requests, remember that this is an investment in the well-being and happiness of the people who support your company. If you have a geographically diverse employee base, read more about overcoming global challenges here.
That said, there are many different ways to celebrate and create an inclusive holiday season. Remember that while work still needs to get done, just like you, employees want to be with their families during this special time of year.
Interested in more inclusive employee communications? Tribe can help!