Many employees and employers come from vastly different backgrounds and celebrate a variety of cultural events throughout the year. In order to work in a cohesive and productive environment, it is important to understand how to acknowledge the differences in us all while in the office. Try out these three methods for celebrating cultural diversity in the workplace:
3 Ways to Celebrate Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
While most of your office may celebrate Christmas on December 25th and enjoy New Year’s on the first of January, others may not. Different religions and cultures hold their holidays on various days throughout the year. To avoid confusion and make sure everyone feels included, create an annual calendar that shows the holidays fall, and at the beginning of the year, ask your staff if any holidays should be added. This will help celebrate religious diversity in the workplace and allow everybody to feel included.
There are federal rules governing religious accommodations in the workplace that specify what accommodations employers need to make for employees. In terms of holiday celebrations and events, businesses are on their own to decide what is right for the workplace. This is where creating an employee handbook comes in. By clearly defining what is acceptable or unacceptable for your office, it will limit confusion and hopefully remove cultural insensitivity.
Whether your team means to or not, cliques may form and some people may feel excluded if they do not celebrate Christmas and New Years. Even if your holiday party is non-denominational, putting everyone in a room together to make merry with food or alcohol is not going to guarantee a fun time. Don’t fret about not having a party, instead make a special tote to celebrate team goals and successes before everyone takes off for a break.
Taking time to acknowledge and accommodate the different cultural practices of your employees is a great gesture. Be smart about any holiday events you may want to hold and be sure to consider and include everyone in the office. What successes have you had in regards to holidays at your workplace? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Professional Diversity Network
Asha Wilkerson is the founder of The Wilkerson Law Office. Ms. Wilkerson provides skilled advice and counsel to for-profit, non-profit, and faith-based organizations in the areas of business and employment law. The mission of The Wilkerson Law Office, is to preserve the longevity of your business by ensuring that every aspect of your organization is legally sound and operating in compliance with state and federal law.