When growing a diverse workforce, it’s imperative that each team member feels celebrated, included, and cared for.
Navigating the holidays with a team of various cultures and belief backgrounds without offending anyone can feel next to impossible.
So how does a company foster an inclusive workplace environment this time of year?
We’re here to help with 8 tips for navigating the holidays with a diverse workforce, plus some great conversation starters, and advice from some seasoned leaders.
Recognize that not everyone celebrates Christmas (or even understands who Santa Claus is), but most everyone is interested in learning more about the meaning behind American traditions, and other religious beliefs.
If you are planning a party in this season, it should be called a holiday celebration to be inclusive of various cultures and backgrounds. It doesn’t mean you have to put away your Christmas tree, but you can invite others to bring in their own symbols of the holidays.
Ask your employees what days are most meaningful to them to have off from work. A “floating paid holiday schedule” may be a better fit for some employees and for your company.
Include families if at all possible. It is incredibly meaningful to give a small gift to children or spouses of employees even if it’s described as a Christmas gift. They will be honored to have been included in this tradition.
Potlucks are a great idea. Food is always helpful in building unity and many people love bringing food that represents their culture.
Religion is not a taboo subject for most other cultures. Feel free to ask questions. Listen, learn and engage in conversation!
If your company doesn’t provide paid holidays, some employees won’t want to take days off because they are not celebrating anything. Consider providing those who want to work the opportunity to do so.
Navigating the holidays with a diverse team is all about communication. Let someone know you genuinely want to learn more about them, their culture and what holidays they celebrate. Just having these conversations will build respect and loyalty among your diverse team.” – Chris Chancey, CEO of Amplio Recruiting
If someone would like to opt out of a celebration, we don’t press or force what or how we like to celebrate. Nevertheless, we encourage them to be a part of our celebration.” –Dean-Paul Hart, President of Compac Industries
For the past few years, I have learned more about “American Christmas!” My family is Mexican and our celebrations during the holidays are slightly different than here in the states. I love learning about how others celebrate and discovering the surprising similarities.” –Patty Bautista, HR Specialist at Construction Resources
Questions to spark conversation:
When you were a child, what traditions did your family celebrate at this time of year?
What holidays are most important to you?
Do you understand the meaning behind the American holidays this time of year?
What food is your favorite special celebration food dish?
What do you think about snow?
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